1984 World Series
World Series Logo 1984
Team / Wins Manager Season
Detroit Tigers (4) Sparky Anderson 104-58, .642, GA: 15
San Diego Padres (1) Dick Williams 92-70, .568, GA: 12
Dates: October 9 – October 14
MVP: Alan Trammell (Detroit)
Television: NBC
TV announcers: Vin Scully, Joe Garagiola
Radio network: CBS
Radio announcers: Jack Buck, Brent Musburger
Umpires: Doug Harvey (NL), Larry Barnett (AL), Bruce Froemming (NL), Rich Garcia (AL), Paul Runge (NL), Mike Reilly (AL)
Future Hall of Famers: Tigers: Sparky Anderson (mgr.).
Padres: Dick Williams (mgr.), Goose Gossage, Tony Gwynn.
ALCS: Detroit Tigers over Kansas City Royals (3-0)
NLCS: San Diego Padres over Chicago Cubs (3-2)
World Series Program
File:MLB-WS 1984.jpg
World Series
 < 1983 1985 > 

The 1984 World Series began on October 9 and ended on October 14, 1984. The American League champion Detroit Tigers played against the National League champion San Diego Padres, with the Tigers winning the series 4 games to 1.

This was the first World Series that Peter Ueberroth presided over as commissioner. Ueberroth began his tenure on October 1, succeeding Bowie Kuhn. Ueberroth had been elected as Kuhn's successor prior to the 1984 season, but did not take over until the postseason as he was serving as the chairman of the 1984 Summer Olympics, which ran from July 28 through August 12. This was the last NBC-broadcast World Series to air before General Electric acquired RCA, NBC's parent company.


The San Diego Padres won the National League West division by 12 games over both the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros, then defeated the Chicago Cubs, three games to two, in the National League Championship Series. The Detroit Tigers won the American League East division by 15 games over the Toronto Blue Jays, then swept the Kansas City Royals, three games to none, in the American League Championship Series.

The 1984 World Series was a rematch between managers Sparky Anderson (Detroit) and Dick Williams (San Diego). The two had previously faced off in the 1972 World Series, with Anderson managing the Cincinnati Reds and Williams helming the victorious Oakland Athletics. The 1984 Series was Anderson's fifth overall as a manager – in addition to the 1972 Fall Classic, he had also managed the Reds during the 1970 World Series (which they lost to the Baltimore Orioles) and served as skipper during Cincinnati's back-to-back world championships in 1975 and 1976. Anderson's counterpart, Williams, was managing in his fourth World Series; he had headed the Boston Red Sox during the 1967 "Impossible Dream" season, when they won their first pennant in 21 years in a tight race over the Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox. After his Athletics won the 1972 World Series, Williams again led them to victory in the 1973 Series over the New York Mets.

The 1984 World Series was a battle of sorts between the multi-million dollar American fast-food chains. Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan owned the Tigers while McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, who died several months before the 1984 World Series, owned the Padres.

Detroit TigersEdit

By May 24, 1984, the Detroit Tigers had just won their 9th straight game with Jack Morris on the mound winning his 9th game of the season. The Tigers record stood at 35-5 – a major league record. In the next three games they would get swept by the Seattle Mariners and settle down to play .500 ball over the next 40 games. But in the end would wind up with a franchise record 104 wins and become only the third team in MLB history to lead the league wire-to-wire.

These Tigers were strong up the middle featuring all-stars at each middle position with catcher Lance Parrish setting a career high in home runs with 33, the record-setting tandem of Lou Whitaker at 2nd base and Alan Trammell at shortstop (they played together from 1977-95.) Solid center-fielder Chet Lemon with ace starting pitcher Jack Morris and eventual Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player, Willie Hernandez (9-3, 1.92, 32 svs) closing.

The Detroit Tigers would sign ageless wonder free-agent Darrell Evans (their first free-agent signing since Tito Fuentes in 1977) and acquired first baseman Dave Bergman and the aforementioned reliever Willie Hernandez in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bergman would settle in as the Tigers' everyday first baseman providing steady glove-work. And of course there was “Mr. Clutch”, right-fielder Kirk Gibson, who had a break-out year with 27 home runs, 29 stolen bases, 91 RBIs, and a .282 batting average.

After winning two World Championships with the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds, manager Sparky Anderson was primed to win his first in the American League in his 7th season with the Detroit Tigers.

San Diego PadresEdit

Williams’ was in his third season with the San Diego Padres after leading them to identical 81-81 (.500) records in 1982 and 1983. 1984 would mark only the second time in Padre history that the team would finish over .500, the other being an 84-78 record in 1978. With the Padres' NL pennant in 1984, Williams became the second manager to take three teams to the World Series (he had previously taken the 1967 Red Sox and the 1972 and 1973 Athletics to the Fall Classic).

The Padres set a franchise record for victories with 92 in 1984, being led by two veterans, first baseman Steve Garvey and third baseman Graig Nettles. Statistically, this team was not overwhelming, with Nettles and Kevin McReynolds leading the team with just 20 home runs. The team eventually would lose McReynolds in Game 4 of the NLCS due to a broken wrist. No player would come close to 100 RBIs (Garvey, 86) or have over 30 doubles in the season, although stalwart thumper Tony Gwynn would lead the National League in hitting for the first time with a .351 average and 213 hits.

The pitching staff was average – a staff of 20 something’s and 32 year-old closer, Goose Gossage (10-6, 25 svs), who was signed as a free agent from the New York Yankees. Eric Show led the staff with 15 wins with Ed Whitson and lefty Mark Thurmond having identical 14-8 records. But the sterling bullpen, headed by Gossage and Craig “Lefty” Lefferts, held the staff together enough to take this team to the “Big Show” although they would falter and get ripped by the Tiger bats losing the Series in 5 games.

As champions of the National League, the Padres had home-field advantage. But had the Chicago Cubs won the NLCS (which appeared likely after the Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series), the Tigers would have gained home-field advantage despite the fact the AL's Baltimore Orioles had it the season before. NBC was contractually obligated to show all midweek series games in prime time, something that would have been impossible at Wrigley Field, since the Cubs' venerable facility lacked lights at the time (they would not install lights until four years later). Had the Cubs advanced to the Series, Detroit would have hosted Games 1, 2, 6 and 7 (on Tuesday and Wednesday nights), while the Cubs would have hosted Games 3, 4 and 5 (on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), with all three games in Chicago starting no later than 1:30 p.m. Central time.

The 1984 Padres adopted Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" as their theme song (a la the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates using Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" as their theme song). During their playoff series against the Chicago Cubs, the Padre fans turned Ghostbusters into Cubbusters. Ironically, the movie Ghostbusters starred noted Chicago Cub fan Bill Murray.


AL Detroit Tigers (4) vs NL San Diego Padres (1)

1Detroit Tigers - 3, San Diego Padres - 2October 9Jack Murphy Stadium57,908[1]
2Detroit Tigers - 3, San Diego Padres - 5October 10Jack Murphy Stadium57,911[2]
3San Diego Padres - 2, Detroit Tigers - 5October 12Tiger Stadium51,970[3]
4San Diego Padres - 2, Detroit Tigers - 4October 13Tiger Stadium52,130[4]
5San Diego Padres - 4, Detroit Tigers - 8October 14Tiger Stadium51,901[5]


Game 1Edit

Tuesday, October 9, 1984 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California

Team 123456789RHE
Detroit 100020000 3 80
San Diego 200000000 2 81
WP: Jack Morris (1-0)  LP: Mark Thurmond (0-1)  
HRs:  DET – Larry Herndon (1)

Game 1 set the tone for the contest as Mark Thurmond managed to last five innings with a 2-1 lead, but surrendered a crucial two-out, two-run homer to Larry Herndon in the fifth. Graig Nettles and Terry Kennedy both singled to open the San Diego sixth, but the Tigers' Jack Morris (a nineteen game winner) snuffed out their momentum by striking out the rest of the side. Kurt Bevacqua continued the fleeting comeback with a leadoff double in the seventh, but was thrown out at third while attempting to stretch the bases. Despite the close call, Morris remained focused and sat down the last nine remaining Padre batters for the 3-2 victory.

Game 2Edit

Wednesday, October 10, 1984 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California

Team 123456789RHE
Detroit 300000000 3 73
San Diego 10013000X 5 110
WP: Andy Hawkins (1-0)  LP: Dan Petry (0-1)  SV: Craig Lefferts (1)  
HRs:  SD – Kurt Bevacqua (1)

Kurt Bevacqua evened the series at 1-1 with a fifth-inning home run. To date, this remains the only World Series victory in Padres history. Andy Hawkins, the winning pitcher, relieved starter Ed Whitson in the first inning.

Game 2 at Jack Murphy Stadium marked the last MLB game to date where the DH was used in a National League ballpark. Since then, any game in an American League park uses the DH (previously, the DH was used in alternating World Series), while pitchers bat in the NL parks.

Game 3Edit

Friday, October 12, 1984 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 123456789RHE
San Diego 001000100 2 100
Detroit 04100000X 5 70
WP: Milt Wilcox (1-0)  LP: Tim Lollar (0-1)  SV: Willie Hernández (1)  
HRs:  DET – Marty Castillo (1)

By the time the 1984 World Series rolled around, Tiger Stadium became the oldest ballpark to ever host a World Series. That record was soon eclipsed by Boston's Fenway Park, which hosted the Fall Classic in 1986, 2004 and 2007.

Tim Lollar failed to make it out of the second inning as Detroit erupted for four runs en route to a 5-2 victory for Milt Wilcox. The victory gave the Tigers a two games to one series lead.

Game 4Edit

Saturday, October 13, 1984 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 123456789RHE
San Diego 010000001 2 52
Detroit 20200000X 4 70
WP: Jack Morris (2-0)  LP: Eric Show (0-1)  
HRs:  SD – Terry Kennedy (1)  DET – Alan Trammell 2 (2)

Alan Trammell drilled two homers to account for all of Detroit's offense as the Tigers beat Eric Show to take a three games to one lead in the Series. Jack Morris got his second Series victory.

Game 5Edit

Sunday, October 14, 1984 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan

Team 123456789RHE
San Diego 001200010 4 101
Detroit 30001013X 8 111
WP: Aurelio López (1-0)  LP: Andy Hawkins (1-1)  SV: Willie Hernández (2)  
HRs:  SD – Kurt Bevacqua (2)  DET – Kirk Gibson 2 (2), Lance Parrish (1)

For the fourth consecutive game, the Padres' starting pitcher did not make it past the third inning, as the Tigers jumped on Mark Thurmond for three runs in the first inning. The Padres rallied to tie the score in the fourth, but the Tigers pulled ahead again with single runs in the fifth and seventh innings. After the Padres closed it to a one-run game in the eighth, Kirk Gibson came to the plate for the Tigers with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth. Padres manager Dick Williams called on Goose Gossage to face Gibson (who had already homered once in the game), seemingly with the purpose of walking him intentionally. During the at-bat, Gibson made a $10 bet (flashing ten fingers) with his manager Sparky Anderson that Gossage (who had dominated Gibson in the past) would pitch to him. Gossage talked Williams into letting him pitch to Gibson, and Gibson responded with a three-run blast into the upper deck to clinch the Series for the Tigers.

In the ninth, Willie Hernandez closed out the series for the Tigers by getting Tony Gwynn to fly out for the final out.

While Alan Trammell won the Sport Magazine variation of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, Jack Morris won the Babe Ruth variation.

After being unceremoniously dumped by the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, Tigers manager Sparky Anderson immediately vowed that he would win a World Championship for Detroit in less than five years. Anderson would become the first manager to win a World Championship in both the American and National League.

Game 5 had a starting time of 4 p.m. ET, following a 1 p.m. start for Game 4. These were the last outdoor World Series games to be played in the afternoon in the eastern United States. No World Series has ended as early as October 14 since 1984; in fact, with the exception of Game 1 of the 1989 World Series (played on October 14, 1989), no World Series game has been played earlier than October 15 since 1984. Format changes—the best-of-five League Championship Series becoming best-of-seven affairs, followed by the addition of best-of-five League Division Series—have made that impossible, even when baseball's regular seasons have ended on the last Sunday in September.

Composite BoxEdit

1984 World Series (4-1): Detroit Tigers (A.L.) over San Diego Padres (N.L.)

Team 123456789RHE
Detroit Tigers 943030130 23 404
San Diego Padres 312330111 15 444

<tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="13">Total Attendance: 271,820   Average Attendance: 54,364</td></tr> <tr><td style="text-align:left;" colspan="13">Winning Player’s Share: – $51,831   Losing Player’s Share – $42,426[6]</td></tr>


Three players set World Series hitting records during the 1984 World Series.

Less than 20 years after winning the 1984 World Series Most Valuable Player Award, Alan Trammell would become manager of the Detroit Tigers. In a sad twist of irony, Trammell was the Detroit skipper in 2003, when the Tigers lost 119 games and threatened to break the modern (post-1900) Major League record for most losses in a season (120), set by the New York Mets in their first season of 1962.

Series quotesEdit

Here comes Herndon, he's got it! And the Tigers are the champions of 1984!

Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, calling the final out of Game 5 on WJR radio.

This is baseball's version of New Year's Day at Times Square.

NBC commentator Vin Scully, describing the scene on the field at Tiger Stadium after the Tigers won Game 5 and the World Series.



  • Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 402-406)
  • Forman, Sean L.. 1984 World Series. - Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-09.

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.