Friday, March 9, 2018

1990 Donruss Best of the NL: Padres Team Set

I'm continuing to go through the 1990 Donruss Best of the National League set, team by team.  Last week we showed the Dodgers, and before that the Pirates.  This week, I've chosen the Padres.
Tony Gwynn and Benito Santiago.
The late 80s/early 90s Padres had some talent, with perrenial batting champ/contender Tony Gwynn leading the way.  In 1989, Gwynn won his fourth batting title, which was his third in a row.  Benito Santiago was a big deal back then, coming off his 1987 NL Rookie of the Year award, Silver Sluggers in '87 and '88, Gold Gloves in '88 and '89, and an All-Star appearance in 1989.  His 1990 included the All-Star team, a Silver Slugger, and a Gold Glove.
Roberto Alomar and Garry Templeton.
Another Hall-of-Famer, in addition to Gwynn, is a young Roberto Alomar, owner of a career .300 batting average with 2724 hits.  He was well underway already, with a .295 average and 184 hits in his sophomore season in 1989.  Garry Templeton was a veteran at the end of his career here, driving in 59 runs with a .248 average for the Padres in 1990.
Joe Carter and Jack Clark.
I always think of Joe Carter either with Cleveland or Toronto, but just for the 1990 season, he was with San Diego.  He had a strong 115 RBI with a weak .232 batting average.  He finished 17th in the MVP voting.  I always think of Jack Clark as either a Giant, Cardinal, or Yankee, but he played two seasons with the Padres (and then two with the Red Sox).  In his two seasons with the Padres, 1989 and 1990, he led the NL in walks both times, and was 12th in the NL MVP voting in 1989.
Mike Pagliarulo and Bip Roberts.
I only have a vague recollection of these two players, Mike Pagliarulo and Bip Roberts.  Pags hit .196 in 50 games for the Padres in 1989, and .254 in 128 games in 1990.  He hit better the next year, as part of the champion 1991 Twins.  Bip Roberts hit .301 in 1989 and .309 in 1990 with the Padres; he was also a notable base stealer, with 46 in 1990.  His career spanned 1986 through 1998, and he achieved career numbers of 1220 hits, 264 steals, and a .294 batting average.
Craig Lefferts and Ed Whitson.
Now, on to the pitchers.  Craig Lefferts played with the Padres 1984-1987, then was part of a multiplayer trade to the Giants.  After the 1989 season, he signed as a free agent to return to the Padres.  Primarily a reliever, Lefferts appeared in 56 games in 1990, finishing 44 of them, with 23 saves and 2.52 ERA.  Starter Ed Whitson played in the majors from 1977 through 1991, with the Pirates, Giants, Indians, Padres, Yankees, and Padres again.  In 1990, he pitched in 32 games, all starts, with a 14-9 record and a 2.60 ERA.
Andy Benes and Bruce Hurst.
Andy Benes was a 1990 Donruss Rated Rookie, and he had a 1989 Topps card with his college stats on the back, denoting him as the #1 draft pick from 1988.  He came in 5th in the NL Rookie of the Year vote in 1989, with Jerome Walton of the Cubs winning; he went 6-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 1989, and followed that up with a 10-11 record and 3.60 ERA in 1990.

Finally, we close things out for this installment with Bruce Hurst, whom I remember better as being one of the starters for the ill-fated 1986 Boston Red Sox.  He went 1-0 in the 1986 ALCS and 2-0 in the World Series.  He had a career record of 145-113 with a 3.92 ERA and 1689 strikeouts, for his career between 1980 and 1994.  In 1990 with the Padres, he went 11-9 in 33 starts, with 9 complete games, a league-leading 4 shutouts, and a 3.14 ERA.

With this fair bit of talent, the 1990 Padres finished in a tie for fourth with the Astros in the NL West, with a 75-87 record.  They fared better in 1989, in second place in the NL West with an 89-73 record, which was third best in the NL.

I think next Friday, we'll check out who the best of the 1990 Astros were.  Thanks for reading!

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