17 April 2015

Hobby Archaeology: 1981 San Diego Union - Meet the Padres

    Yet another uncatalogued newspaper "card" set came to my attention thanks to a post in the "Ozzie Smith collectors thread" over at Freedom Cardboard today.  It seems that in 1981, The San Diego Union printed a series of player profiles to introduce the 1981 Padres to the city.  The series ran from March 8th to April 17th in the sports section and kicked off in style with the Wizard, and this message:

A Message To Our Readers 

   From the manager down through the ranks, the 1981
Padres sport a new look -- so new, many baseball fans literally won't be able to tell the players without a score- card.
   Therefore, beginning today and continuing daily until
the start of the San Diego Padres season April 9, The San Diego Union will present each member of the 1981 Padres in the form of a baseball card.

The set actually ran eight days longer than advertised and wrapped up at 41 "cards".  Curiously, for someone who didn't really factor into the Padres in any meaningful way, Randy Bass was featured twice, on March 16th and March 20th.

Scan courtesy of Mozzie22
8 March 1981
Ozzie Smith
9 March 1981
Craig Stimac
10 March 1981
Broderick Perkins
11 March 1981
Dave Cash
12 March 1981
Jerry Turner
13 March 1981
Bill Fahey
14 March 1981
Eric Rasmussen
15 March 1981
Tim Flannery
16 March 1981
Randy Bass
17 March 1981
Luis Salazar
18 March 1981
Gary Lucas
19 March 1981
John Curtis
20 March 1981
Randy Bass
21 March 1981
Steve Swisher
22 March 1981
Mike Phillips
23 March 1981
Dave Edwards
24 March 1981
Barry Evans
25 March 1981
Eric Show
26 March 1981
Jerry Mumphrey
27 March 1981
Rick Wise
28 March 1981
Kim Seaman
29 March 1981
Gene Richards
30 March 1981
Tom Tellman
31 March 1981
Juan Eichelberger
1 April 1981
Steve Mura
2 April 1981
John Urrea
3 April 1981
Terry Kennedy
4 April 1981
Alan Wiggins
5 April 1981
John Littlefield
6 April 1981
Bobby Tolan (hitting coach)
7 April 1981
Danny Boone
8 April 1981
Juan Bonilla
9 April 1981
Ruppert Jones
10 April 1981
Joe Lefebvre
11 April 1981
Tim Lollar
12 April 1981
Chris Welsh
13 April 1981
Frank Howard (manager)
14 April 1981
Chuck Estrada (pitching coach)
15 April 1981
Eddie Brinkman (infield coach)
16 April 1981
Jack Krol (third base coach)
17 April 1981
Ed Stevens (coach)

Thanks to GenealogyBank.com for carrying the San Diego Union archives, making this post possible.  While I don't have access to any further years of the newspaper, I am told this feature ran for a few more years.


  1. That Ozzie is spectacular! Huge fan of newspaper cards (cutouts). When I was a kid, I used to collect the A's and Giants cards from the San Jose Mercury News.

  2. Jason: Thanks for sharing this! As a longtime Padres fan (since 1974), I'm always interested in seeing "rare" or uncommon Padres team card issues, etc. Very nice article. In retrospect, do you think the Padres would still have made the deal trading Smith for Templeton (there were a few others in the trade, but those were the major two)?

    1. Based on the players involved, it really just looks like San Diego was looking for a little extra punch at short, and Ozzie was really looking like an all-field, no hit proposition. But looking at the rest of the players involved (and assuming Templeton was the "get"), I have a hard time understanding what they were trying to accomplish by swapping the other players around. Looking at Ozzie's numbers, it really seemed like he was a good hitting coach away from being a decent hitter. He was making a lot of contact, his Ks were low, but he just wasn't getting on base. The Padres didn't really gain much as Templeton missed a lot of games in the following seasons.

    2. I agree. I think it would have been a more competitive 1984 World Series (of course, we can play "what if's" all day) had the following occurred:
      1. Padres resigned Dave Winfield
      2. Padres kept Ozzie Smith
      3. Bevacqua does not stumble around 2nd and get thrown out at 3rd in game 1. If not, Padres win game 1 as well as game 2, and it's a different series headed to Detroit.

      Of course, all pure conjecture....