When Garry Templeton joined the Padres in 1982, fans were expecting to see a career .305 hitter. Instead, they have seen the All-Star shortstop hit .247, .263 and .258.
But the Templeton people had waited to see emerged in the 1984 postseason when he batted .324 and drove in the game-winning run in Gane 3 of the National League Championship Series.
After having his contract extended three years through 1988 Wednesday, Templeton said last year's postseason was a sign of things to come.
"I'll concentrate more on offense like I did in the playoffs and World Series," he said. "Before, I think I concentrated more on defense. That's what the club needed."
Templeton will earn $675,000 this season, but terms of his extended contract were not disclosed.
"Gary's contribution to the club was never more evident than in the postseason when he gave everyone a lift with his enthusiasm and play," General Manager Jack McKeon said. "He performed here for two seasons with knee injuries and never complained."
Manager Dick Williams has said Templeton will bat eighth in the lineup for the second straight season in 1985. Williams wants Templeton in a spot that does require excessive baserunning because of his knee problems.
Until last year, Templeton had been plagued by an arthritic left knee. In 1983, the knee twice sidelined him for more than two weeks.
But after an extensive offseason training program with Padre trainer Dick Dent, Templeton was healthier than ever before with the Padres in 1984. He played in 148 games, a National League high for a shortstop.
Templeton said he has trained alone this winter. He wanted to be closer to his wife, Glenda, who was pregnant, but Genae Nicole Templeton was born last month while her father was playing golf.
With Templeton's signing, three-quarters of the Padre infield is intact for years to come. Alan Wiggins also is signed through 1988 and Steve Garvey is signed through 1987. Graig Nettles, who turns 41 in August, has a contract through this season.