August 13, 2013 by Wayne McBrayer & Rebecca Herman
We received our SABR Member Newsletter and were very excited to hear what the August 9, 2013 meeting would feature: Radio Re-Creations with Bob Chandler! We knew we would be there. The names listed for the event were Chris Cannizarro, Roger Craig, Bob Skinner, Kurt Bevacqua, Randy Jones, and a couple of “surprise” guests. It was on our calendars and we couldn’t wait!
We arrived at the Scripps Ranch Library early to try out the featured food truck: Chubby’s. We each had one – Wayne had the Jalapeno Burger and Rebecca had the Paradise Burger. Excellent burgers and we highly recommend giving them a try. We sat in the patio and ate our burgers and were joined by Scott Dunsmore who sat down and started the conversion with a, “Hi Norf” to which I replied, “Who?” LOL! We chatted about the event and things we had been doing over the summer with our blogs and how much we were looking forward to the evening’s event.
We lined up at 5:30 PM and viewed the various items that were up for silent auction. Rebecca placed bids on a signed picture of Tony Gwynn getting his first major league hit and a Padres lot of items including a 1974 team photo and several press guides. As we filed in, we were given a bag of Cracker Jack Kettle Corn popcorn and a package of Ralston Super Stars baseball cards from the 1980’s that had never been opened … but they are now! A great set of cards with Eddie Murray, Ted Simmons, Dave Winfield, Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson, Steve Carlton, Steve Garvey, Reggie Jackson, Dan Quisenberry, Keith Hernandez, and Carlton Fisk.
The San Diego Ted Williams Chapter of SABR hosted the event and The Aramco Group sponsored it. The stage was set with a nice interview area to the left and a “radio booth” to the right. Andy Strasberg walked up to announce that this event was going to be on TV and was going to be broadcast on AM1700 ESPN radio, so to make sure to applaud at the right time.
The announcer for the evening was Frank Anthony – the Padres Announcer. He asked us to stand for the National Anthem that would be led by a long-time Padres fan – Wayne Dabney. Afterward, Bob Chandler took the stage and reminded us that not all of our National Anthems had been quite so nice. He invited Ron Seaver, 1990 Promotions Director, up to talk first-hand about the Rosanne Barr “version” on July 26, 1990 and some of the interesting and little-known-facts about that incident. Unfortunately, we were also tortured with hearing her rendition!
Bob began with the very first Padres home game on April 8, 1969 against the Houston Astros. The Padres first hit was a home run in the 5th inning by Ed Spezio and the first game winning hit was by Ollie Brown driving in Roberto Pena. The Padres swept the 3 game series with the Astros but only won 52 games in their expansion season. BOXSCORE
Next, Roger Craig talked about Clay Kirby and how he didn’t have a hand in pulling Clay out in the 8th inning of a no-hitter. BOXSCORE He also discussed the amazing, barehanded stop by Ozzie Smith April 20, 1978 – VIDEO
Next we were treated to Randy Jones … two-time All-Star (’75 & ’76) and 1976 NL Cy Young Award Winner! Among other things, he talked about his 10-inning, 1-hitter game (5/19/75), his 67 pitch complete game against Pittsburgh (2 of the innings were 3 pitch innings), and his 1 hr 29 minute pitching duel (5/4/77) with Jim Kaat. 5/19/75 BOXSCORE 5/4/77 BOXSCORE
The surprise guest was Tony Gwynn and he entered to a standing ovation. Tony talked about his NLCS game-winning hit on October 7, 1984. 10/7/84 BOXSCORE
Jerry Coleman joined Tony on stage and Bob Chandler called them, “the 2 greatest Padres” and I agree. Jerry said Gwynn was one of the best players he ever saw play.
Steve Arlin was introduced and discussed the Padres closest no-hitter (7/18/1972 BOXSCORE). Bob talked about how Don Zimmer pulled 3B Dave Roberts in to protect against the bunt and with 2 strikes on Denny Doyle, manager Don Zimmer kept Dave pulled in against the bunt. Doyle hit a chopper that went over Roberts head and would have been a routine play if he was back. After the game, Don Zimmer offered Steve a razor blade so Steve could cut Don’s throat. Steve talked about how the Padres haven’t had a no-hitter. “The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees and that was called the Curse of the Bambino. I guess you say the Padres not having a no-hitter is The Curse of Don Zimmer.”
Bob Skinner came on stage to talk about Nate Colbert hitting 5 home run 13 RBI’s in a double header on August 1st, 1972. “He told Don Zimmer his back was bothering him, but went out and took some BP. He hit 10 balls and all went over the fence and he told Don I’m in.” Colbert hit 2 in the first game and three in the next. To top it off, Nate was at the May 2nd, 1954 game where Stan Musial hit 5 home runs in a double header.
Bob Chandler moved onto the greatest hits in Padres history, and of course the subject is Steve Garvey’s Game 4 homer, which has been ranked as the #1 hit in Padres history. Garvey didn’t attend the event, but the man with the 2nd biggest hit did and that was Kurt Bevacqua. Announced as “Tommy Lasorta’s best friend” Kurt took the stage and discussed his home run, which led to the only World Series victory in Padres history. “It was a hanging slider and did to it what you do with hanging sliders” and then he talked about his running the bases, blowing kisses to the fans, and jumping around.
To close the night, it would be only fitting for the last event to cover one man…..and Hell’s Bells started playing … VIDEO. As the fans clapped for about 30 seconds to the music in anticipation to Trevor Hoffman walking in, it was announced that Trevor was on out of town and couldn’t make it (disappointing). To replace Trevor was Padres former President, Dick Freeman, the man who was in the front office when the deal was made. It was during the time of the fire sale when Tom Werner decided to dump payroll. “The budget was going to be about 40 million dollars and we couldn’t afford it.” The Padres GM was Randy Smith and he knew about Hoffman and traded Gary Sheffield to Florida. Dick Freeman recalled the day the trade was made and how “Padres fans had voted for the all-time Padres team and Gary was picked for 3B, even though he played only 1 full season with the Padres.” Hoffman came here and of course, the rest is history.
That concluded the evening’s events. It was a terrific night with so many amazing memories. Lots of happy tears cried during this evening as memories of events flooded my mind. For a brief time, I was a nine year old kid once again, listening to Bob Chandler on the radio calling a Padres game. The only thing missing was the Bill Balance Show, which followed the Padre games, but that is another story….
Rebecca brought her copy of Bob Chandler’s book hoping he would sign it (which he did at the end of the evening) … Tales from the San Diego Padres Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Padres Stories Ever Told
As we walked out the silent auction was wrapping up. We waited around to try to get the high bid for the Gwynn picture. Rebecca won the bid and got the picture which was a great way to top off the night.
Thank you SABR! Thank you Aramco Group! Thank you to all the great Padres Legends who made our evening so very special!
Story by Wayne McBrayer, TheCasualFan
Editing & Photography by Rebecca Herman, TheBaseballPHD