I'm checking out a show on the Major League Baseball channel about the 1984 San Diego Padres...
I'm a big fan of the Padres of that era. I liked several of their players ranging from Tony Gwynn to Graig Nettles and Goose Gossage. And I especially liked the way they shot down the 1984 Cubs' World Series dreams.
But I have to say this show was the first time I have ever heard anyone suggest that the Padres got the better end of the deal that sent Garry Templeton to San Diego in exchange for Ozzie Smith.
Padres shortstop Ozzie Smith puts the tag on his Cardinals counterpart, Garry Templeton, in a game in 1981.
One of the former Padres quoted in the show said "Templeton was just as good of a player but with more offense."
Templeton hit .314 or better three times in his five years with the Cardinals. With the Padres, he was a .252 hitter who averaged 11 stolen bases and five times caught stealing a year. He averaged 47 runs scored and 47 RBIs a season.
Templeton and Smith after the trade that made The Wizard a Cardinal.
Ozzie Smith hit .277 after the trade to St. Louis and averaged 29 stolen bases a year with seven times caught stealing. He averaged 66 runs scored and 44 RBIs a season with the Cardinals.
I'd take Ozzie's offensive contributions over Templeton's following the trade. And Templeton couldn't hold a candle to Ozzie in the field. Need proof? Templeton was named an all-star one time in his nine years as a member of the Padres. Smith was named an all-star 14 times with the Cardinals.
Ozzie was simply the best shortstop of his time. And, since Templeton shared the same time as a player... Well, I guess that would make him better.