Steve Garvey was destined to be a Dodger. The team’s spring training bat boy from 1956-1961, Garvey was a natural in Dodger blue.
A two-sport athlete at Michigan State University, Garvey lettered for the Spartans as a defensive back. As a baseball player, he hit a grand slam in his first collegiate at bat.
In 1968, the Dodgers selected him in the first round of what many call the greatest draft in pro sports history. Los Angeles drafted nine future All Stars who went on to play 148 combined MLB seasons.
Garvey debuted in 1969 and was in the big leagues to stay in two years later. Originally a third baseman, he made the switch to first base in 1973. His career took off. On June 23 that year he joined third baseman Ron Cey, shortstop Bill Russell, and second baseman Davey Lopes in the Dodger infield. The quartet remained together for 8 1/2 years – the most enduring infield in the game’s history.
Settling in to his new position, Garvey hit .304, 35 points higher than his previous best in the bigs. In 1974 he became had a storybook year. The first baseman reached the All Star game as a write-in candidate. Once there he went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. He was named the MVP of the NL’s 7-2 triumph.
By season’s end Garvey’s 200 hits were good for a .312 averaged. He added 21 homers and 11 runs batted in and was named the NL MVP. His Dodgers benefitted great, winning 103 games and the NL West title. Los Angeles won the pennant before dropping to the Oakland A’s in the World Series.
From 1974-1982, the durable first baseman averaged 155 games played and 190 hits per per season, hitting .306. Garvey made the All Star team and received votes in the MVP race every season from 1974-1981. A hit machine, Garvey had 200 or more hits in six of seven seasons from ’74-’80.
During the run he earned four Gold Glove Awards. He helped the team reach four World Series, culminating with a ring in ’81. In 55 career postseason games, Garv hit .338 with a .550 slugging percentage.
From September 3, 1975 through July 29, 1983, Garvey did not miss a game. His 1,207 consecutive games played established a still-standing National League record. For his career, Garvey totaled 2,599 hits, 272 homers, and 1,308 runs batted in. The 10-time All Star won four Gold Glove, was the NLCS and All Star Game MVP twice. He was also the recipient of both the Roberto Clemente and Lou Gehrig Awards.
A 19-year old Garvey is shown here in his first Topps card. Garvey signed the 1971 offering. Note the fielders glove in the picture instead of a more familiar first baseman’s mitt. Garvey who debuted in 1969 did not make his initial appearance at first base until the 1972 season.
Absolutely! He belongs in the HOF!
Most definitely! He’s always been a great 1st baseman my favorite
Absolutly. Great first baseman. From the stands watched him hit the full cycle against the Cards. He was a all around solid player. Listened to Ted Williams comment on Garvey’s warm up swing. Looks like he’s golfing. Then Steve hit a 3 run homer. Dodgers win.
Yes Garvey should be in the hall. How many guys are in that don’t have the numbers he has. By the way how is Tommy John not in the hall. In recent years look at the pitchers that have been inducted and the don’t hold a candle to TJ. Garvey is a YES
He does belong in the HOF. He was a outstanding ball player never missed a game played in over 1200 straight games . A great clutch hitter both in the play- offs and WS and had outstanding stats in both La Angeles and San Diego!
Should have been in years ago.
A damn shame Garvey is not in The Hall already. The man had a long, productive career, and was involved in multiple World Series. One of the best defensive 1st basemen ever, and great clutch hitter. Vote him in!
Let’s make it happen , he certainly has the numbers and played on a few World Champ teams!, Thanks