Trammell remembers 1984 SeriesFormer Tiger, current Cubs bench coach was Series MVP
By Sandy Burgin / Special to MLB.com
05/23/09 9:49 PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- On a night that the San Diego Padres celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first World Series appearance, Chicago Cubs bench coach Alan Trammell reminisced a bit about his playing days on that Detroit Tigers team that beat the Padres to win the 1984 World Series and garnered him the series Most Valuable Player Award.
"When people ask the highlight of your career, that World Series is it, bar none," said Trammell, as he waited to greet a couple of the old Padres players from that team. "We were able to make it to just one World Series, but it was '84, and we were able to win.
"For me, it was a no-lose situation," Trammell said. "Playing in the World Series is what your goal is. Being from Detroit and playing in Detroit, most of the fans wanted to see a Chicago and Detroit series, two traditional teams. And that would have been fine, but I cannot lie when I tell you that I grew up in San Diego. And so for me to go home was special.
"When we got off the airplane, the team went off to the hotel and I went home and slept in my own bed. So that was obviously was huge for me. But just winning the World Series was what it was all about. I really wished I would have done it again, but fortunately, we did it once."
Asked about that '84 Padres team, Trammell said, "they were scrappy and I know that they had picked up some veterans. They had Goose Gossage and Steve Garvey, Graig Nettles and then they had a pretty good player in Tony Gwynn, who was just starting to come into his own. I believe he just won his first batting title that year. They had a nice little blend.
"I think one thing that did hurt them is that they lost their center fielder in Kevin McReynolds, who broke his leg sliding in the Padres series against the Cubs. But it was one of those things where we had gotten off to that great 35-5 start that year. We had all the confidence in the world. It didn't matter to us who we were going to play.
"That was a dream year, and fortunately, we were able to cap it off by winning the World Series. We had swept the Kansas City Royals [in the American League Championship Series] and we were waiting to see the winner of the Padres-Cubs. If the Padres won, we had to fly to San Diego. If the Cubs would have won, we would have opened up in Detroit. We were all packed in Detroit to see who won that ballgame."
That "ballgame" was Game 5, in which the Cubs led the Padres, 3-0, going into the sixth inning. The Padres rallied for two runs in the sixth and scored four in the seventh and won, 6-3.
Garvey batted .400 (8-for-20) in that series and hit the dramatic two-run home run off Cubs closer Lee Smith in the bottom of the ninth inning that won Game 4 and paved the way to his second National League Championship Series MVP.
Those highlights were shown on the scoreboard at PETCO Park Saturday night and drew some of the loudest cheers.
In winning that series against the Cubs, the Padres became the first team in NLCS play and only the second team in LCS history to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the series. The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers had also accomplished the feat in the ALCS.
The Tigers went on to beat the Padres in five games, splitting the first two in San Diego and winning the next three in Detroit.
Trammell went 9-for-20 (.450) with two home runs and six RBIs in the World Series. He also batted .364 in the three-game sweep of the Royals with 11 hits and a home run.Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.