Cheap Seats

Padres snookered the Cardinals in the Smith for Templeton trade?

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.

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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.

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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.