Tag Archives: Steve Garvey

On Deck With Steve Garvey

dre010.jpg (Steve Garvey, 2008)

Steve Garvey enjoyed 14 of his 19 big league seasons in the Dodger Blue. A two-time NLCS MVP, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time MVP of the All-Star game and the 1974 National League MVP.  These days, Garvey does about 45-50 motivational speeches a year through Garvey Media Group working with clients in stadium advertising. At Dodger Stadium he helps with the Kings Hawaiian Grill stand, introducing and marketing new BBQ sauces. 

I had a chance recently to speak with Garvey prior to the Dodgers alumni game on May 12th…

GDWKND: You we’re part of the longest running infield from 1973-81. What was the key in maintaining the infield for as long as you all did?

Garvey: I think the key was staying healthy. We continued to grow as players and understand our roles and performances. We started to work together, the team started to do well and Al Campannis signed us to long-term contracts. When it was all said and done that recipe was a great recipe of success during what I call the Golden Era from 1973-82.

GDWKND: When you we’re being groomed in Albuquerque you had Tommy Lasorda as your manager. When you came up to The Blue you we’re under the guidance of Walter Alston. How was the transition like from Lasorda in Albuquerque, to Alston and then eventually back to Lasorda?

Garvey: It was night and day, it was a 180. Walter Alston was very stoic and quiet, very strong man, Hall of Fame quality. Tommy was gregarious, outgoing, became really the heart and soul of Los Angeles Dodger Baseball by the way he talked about the team and got the fans involved. There’s more than one way to manage success. I was blessed to have Walter Alston to teach me certain things and Tommy Lasorda to teach me the rest. 

After the 1982 season, Garvey would head south and finish his career with the San Diego Padres. Though he wouldn’t put up the same numbers wearing the Padre Brown, Garvey would nonetheless have an impact on the Padres, highlighted by the city’s number one sports moment in 1984 with his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the NLCS off Lee Smith of the Cubs, forcing a decisive 5th game which the Padres would win en route to the organizations first World Series appearance. 

GDWKND: You played for three storied managers, Alston, Lasorda and Dick Williams, three HOF managers. How was it like playing for all three?

Garvey: Dick was tough, very demanding. Dick had won a couple of World Series with Oakland in the 70s, he had some strict rules that he expected you to adhere to. He was a veterans manager. He let the veterans do a lot of the leadership within the team. A very good X’s and O’s in game manager so he ended up in the HOF one way, Tommy one way and Walt one way. There’s no one way to be a leader to produce success. It takes the ability to communicate as the one common ingredient. 

GDWKND: You had an impact not only here but in San Diego as well during your 5 year stint from 1983-87. You will always be remembered for the home run you hit in Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Do you do any work with the Padres as well?

Garvey: From time to time I get a call from the Padres to do things. I always look forward to it. I always say once I go south of Camp Pendleton I’m a Padre down there. I’m a favorite son and we had some great moments during my five year run capped off by our World Series. It’s like a second home in San Diego, 15 years in L.A and 5 in San Diego, a very blessed career and friendships on both sides. 

As Garvey would be a huge catalyst for the Padres first World Series appearance, they would run into a buzz-saw of a Detroit Tiger team that started off the ’84 season 35-5 en route to 104 wins, breezing through the ALCS in a three game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. In Game Five of the ’84 World Series, some future Dodger named Kirk would hit a huge home run in the 8th inning of a one-run game that all but ended the Padres faint hopes. It would be Kirk Gibson’s biggest home run of his career…To that point…

GDWKND: You had a chance to face Kirk Gibson when he was with the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Kirk had that huge home run off Goose Gossage in Game Five that for all intents and purposes closed out the series. What was your thought of seeing Gibby in Dodger Blue in 1988, one year after your final season in baseball?

Garvey: That home run in ’84 had to be a prelude to the ’88 World Series. The irony of Gibson’s home run in ’88 was people thought it was Game Seven when it was actually Game One, he never made another World Series appearance again but it was so momentous a hit that it kick-started the momentum and along with Orel Hersheser’s fabulous pitching performances and a great team of executioners and it turned out a World Championship. 

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Drei’s memories of The Garv…I started watching Dodger Baseball in 1980 at six years of age. My first ever Dodger game at Dodger Stadium would be on my eighth birthday in 1982, one year after baseball’s longest running infield broke up. I would get to see 3/4th’s of the longest running infield twice. Then Garvey and Cey would leave Dodger Blue after the ’82 season. 

I may not have seen much of Garvey in Dodger Blue. I do remember he was one of the more popular Dodgers. Every kid in school wanted to be like Garvey. He was, in the eyes of manyMr. Clean (That’s a topic for another discussion…). 

Most of my childhood life as a baseball fan was at the end of his prime. This eight year old kid can remember the night he made his first appearance in that Padre Brown on April 15, 1983. He was given a thunderous standing ovation that seemed to last an eternity. 

To this day, the Dodgers have yet to retire number 6. They have this unwritten policy of only retiring players enshrined in Cooperstown, Jim Gilliam being the exception. It’s a debatable discussion, much like Garvey’s number 6 being retired in San Diego

You could debate that the standards for retiring a number are much higher within the walls of Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers already had a rich history prior to Garvey’s arrival in 1969. The Padres we’re still looking for a baseball identity. One swing of Garvey’s bat in 1984 gave them that. 

When talking of Garvey, baseball fans talk of him in the Dodger Blue, a fact that the most ardent Friar fan will admit. It’s been said down south, ” It took a Dodger to put your team on the map” Ouch. 

I have no problem with Garvey’s number 6 being retired down south. It’s already been done. Without Garvey’s blast in ’84, the Padres may still be looking for a baseball identity. 

How much longer until the Dodger brass retires number 6. Only time will tell. 

This is the first of hopefully more detailed interviews I’ll conduct with former Dodgers as they celebrate 60 years here in L.A. 

I also had a chance to briefly catch up with other former Dodgers during Alumni Weekend. Check it out and other sports news and stadium reviews on Stadium Journey at StadiumJourney.com

20160522_131045.jpg (Just retire Number 6 already !!!)

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10 Years a Good Dre…Steve Garvey

picsart_07-08-06.28.12.jpg Steve Garvey, Camera Day, May 2008

As we head toward the All-Star game taking place in San Diego, also with the Padres finishing their 4 game series with The Blue, today’s 10 Years a Good Dre features a popular Dodger among the fans who wore the Dodger Blue for 14 seasons from 1969-82 before finishing his career as a Padre. Garvey was a 10x all-star from 1974-81 and twice with the Friars in ’84-85. Garvey to this day holds the NL record for consecutive games played at 1207. However, Garvey’s, and perhaps the Padres franchise most memorable moment may have been in Game 4 of the NLCS, Don Drysdale with the call… 

Of course, it would be a former Dodger with the call. I wonder if ever got a chance to call a memorable home run that involved one in a Dodger Blue uniform…

wp-1468126570671.jpeg Garvey’s retired number…As a Padre. I don’t see this being retired by The Friars if not for that home run in ’84. Many a Dodger fan still feels his number 6 in The Blue needs to be retired as well. Oh yeah, like the Dodger Blue touch I gave number 6 ?

wp-1468125673218.jpeg With the legend himself, April ’15

Blue Stars Shining Bright In America’s Finest City…

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Congratulations to Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager on being nominated to the 2016 All-Star Game. The big focus of course will be on Corey Seager, our rookie SS who’s having himself a memorable season. Seager, the team leader in home runs, will be participating in this years Home Run Derby. This will mark the 2nd consecutive year a Dodger will be participating in the HRD, with Joc Pederson coming in 2nd last year. This will also be the 2nd consecutive season a Dodger rookie is taking part. I can only guess this is a first in team history.

Lots has been debated about the so-called Home Run Derby Curse . I along with many Dodger fans have been skeptical as well. Bill Plaschke is not so thrilled about Corey taking part either, pointing out Joc Pederson’s 2nd half swoon. However, Joc had already been on a swoon before the all-star break. It is debatable, but hey, this should not stop us from cheering the rookie on, right ? From Dodger fans i’ve spoke to, not many are concerned that his numbers will be affected come the 2nd half, when we’ll really need his productivity. Should Corey go in a slump, something all hitters go through eventually, it would just be a case of the league catching up to him. 

9th Inning…Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn

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Halfway There… A Chance To Fatten Up… More Clubhouse Tension ?

Well, almost. Once the Dodgers have completed their Friday night match-up against the Mets, 81 games will be under their belt. As of right now, with 45 wins, the Dodgers are on pace to win 90-92 games. Should this happen, this will be the first time the Dodgers win 90 plus game in 3 consecutive seasons since 1976-78. Don Mattingly would also be the first L.A. Dodger to accomplish this feat and the first Dodger manager since Walter Alston’s Brooklyn teams from 1954-56. For all the heat Mattingly takes from the fans, Walter O’Malley would only offer one-year contracts to Mr. Alston, 23 total. Dodger managers sure can’t get a break can they ? 

All kidding aside, since 1954, the Dodgers have only had 9 managers in charge of the dugout 

Tension Among Each Other at The Ravine ? What’s New…

DODGERS_BOOK_BEST TEAM MONEY CAN BUY

By now, you probably have heard of all the news regarding Yasiel Puig’s… polarizing presence, most notably altercations with Zack Greinke and Justin Turner. The news surrounding Puig comes from excerpts from the soon to be released book The Best Team Money Can Buy, from Molly Knight. The book, due for release on July 14, has actually received some positive reviews .  I’m interested to see what other aspects of the team are covered beyond the obvious excerpts that has everyone talking. In spite of the recent revelations, Don Mattingly has said that the clubhouse does remain solid. 

News of Puig’s run-ins with teammates is really nothing new in the world of sports. It’s really nothing new in the real world. After all, I’m sure you’ve had and probably still have that one or two co-workers of your that you wouldn’t exactly do happy hour with, right ?

Reggie Jackson was not always like by his teammates ( To put it kindly…) , be it with the Oakland A’s or the  New York Yankees. He won 5 World Series titles during his time with those 2 clubs, 3 of those against, well… ( Thank god I was either an infant or still going though my final stages of infancy…)

During the glory years of the 70’s, Steve Garvey’s ” Mr. Clean” image wasn’t always a welcomed presence inside the Dodger clubhouse, most notably with Don Sutton, just to name some well known “rifts” throughout the history of professional sports .

Of course we all know about the on again off again rift that Kobe and Shaq have had over the years. Yet we seemed to turn a blind eye when they we’re adding more glory up on Staples Center’s south wall. Kobe has recently admitted to making some of his Lakers teammates cry.

While Puig has a way’s to go before he can be mentioned in the same category of glory, what many tend to forget is that Puig is still a baby boomer waiting to fully blossom. Expectations we’re so high for him when he came to the big show 2 years ago. Because of the high expectations, it seems 2013 is a far distant memory. Perhaps many of us are expecting Puig to carry the team on his shoulders, which may be asking too much for the young kid.

Many Dodger fans, including this one, have made the comparisons of Yasiel Puig to another former Dodger outfielder who had similar potential, Raul Mondesi. There are many similarities between the two. We can only hope that the current storyline, this time, with Yasiel Puig, has a much happier ending…

4th of July Threads…

JULY 4TH THREAD Here is the Stars and Stripes Uniform Matchups  that will be worn by both the Dodgers and Mets during tomorrow’s 4th of July matchup. I love the U.S. Flag watermark on the hats. Not very distracting and tastefully done. As for the jersey’s, being that it’s the ” MLB Holiday Edition ” look, I will give it a pass. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want this as an everyday look, patriotism and all…

Chance to Fatten Up…

Our Boys in Blue kick off a 10 game homestand tonight with the Mets. After a fast start, the Mets have been struggling and are now at .500 with a 40-40 record. With the Phillies and Brewers, the two worst teams in baseball coming to town, this would be a great opportunity for The Blue to fatten up on their  45-35 record and perhaps add on to their 3 game lead heading into the all-star break. Easier said than done of course. Just ask the Giants, who, in spite of their 9-3 record against us, have a combined 3-10 home record against the DBacks and Rockies. Yeah, that’s baseball for you…

9th Inning… Defending Our Freedom and Colors…

United as One  Have a Happy and Safe July 4th weekend !!!

Team Chemistry Issues. Nothing New Here

It’s no secret right now the Dodgers are going through some internal issues to say the least. At 31-30, 8.5 games behind the Giants, there seems to be some chemistry issues amongst everyone who wears that Dodger Blue uniform. After Wednesday night’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, manager Don Mattingly had finally reached his tipping point, saying that they, to quote the words of Vin Scully, we’re “fertilizer”.

It’s no secret that Matt Kemp is not happy with his role in left field. It’s no secret everyone is at odds with the 4 plus outfield situation. It’s no secret the offense is struggling right now, especially with the bullpen starting to hit it’s stride. And what was that word we used earlier. Chemistry, or perhaps in this case, the lack of team chemistry amongst the Blue.

But how much does team chemistry really play into how well a team does. Sure you would like for everyone to be on the same page and be one big happy family. But such is not always the case no matter what . Conflicts amongst each other really is nothing new in the world of sports. If you think about it, conflicts amongst your fellow cohorts, no matter the profession, is really nothing new either. Let’s take a look at some past teams that we’re didn’t exactly have resemble The Brady Bunch.

During the 70s, the era of the longest running infield , which Steve Garvey’s ” Mr. Clean ” reputation was resented amongst his teammates, most notably Don Sutton, the Dodgers would post the most victories in any decade here in Los Angeles, making 3 World Series appearances in the 70s before finally winning it all in 1981.

Longtime baseball fans certainly remember those Yankees teams of the 70s with Reggie Jackson, Thrumond Munson, Graig Nettles, Billy Martin and of course Mr. Steinbrenner running the empire. With names like that, you know this was not a team with a dugout filled with choir boys.

But in the end, when it was all said and done, they found a way to get it done. And that was some good baseball played amongst those two teams. Yeah, i’m recalling another era where salaries were not as high, to say the least, but one thing that still remains is the high ego’s that can develop amongst teams with multi-talented players.

So at 31-30, 8.5 games behind the hated ones at the end of the first week of June, there certainly is plenty of time to make a serious run toward the top of the NL West. Chemistry or lack of, the point here, it’s up to the players to make it happen. As much as we question Donnie Baseball’s moves, and we certainly do a lot of that these days, it’s still all up to the players to make it happen.

Forever Dodger Blue ?

Kemp and Ethier, the two longest tenured current Dodger players. We’ve had a lot of great times. We’ve also seen endured your struggles as well. We hear the trade talks every day. We’ve even heard the groans amongst the press and fans, especially toward Matt. How much longer do we see you both in Dodger Blue ? We can only speculate.

kemp I still believe you’ll come through big for us Matt !!!

ethier To my namesake, It’s Always a Good Dre !!!

Division Race Memories, and My First Taste of the Dodgers-Giants Rivlary

With the Magic Number down to 6, it is possible that the Dodgers could clinch by Sunday at the earliest.  And I know all you fellow Dodgers fans would like nothing more than to have our long time rivals watch us celebrate, although for this to happen we would have to either take 3 of 4 from the hated ones ( Not beyond possible ) while the Snakes would have to be swept in all 3 by the Rockies at home, or sweep all 4 from the hated ones ( Also not beyond possible) and the Snakes would have to lose 2 of 3 to the Rockies at Chase Field.   While words can’t quite describe that feeling of celebrating in front of our rivals, though they are long out of contention for 2013, the last thing they would want is for us to rub salt into their wounds in an otherwise nightmarish season for the hated ones.  So yeah, we all know they will be going all out this weekend to prevent a celebration of the NL West in their presence.  So yeah, even in an off year, they still have something to play for if not the role of spoiler, which, is how I, as an 8 year old kid in 1982, got introduced to this great rivalry…..

While Joe Morgan, who was recently honored by the Reds this weekend ( Against the Dodgers no less….), will be forever linked to The Big Red Machine of the 70’s, it was he who gave me my first taste of this storied rivalry on October 3rd, 1982. It was his 3 run home run in the last of the 7th off Terry Forster that would prevent us from tying the Atlanta Braves for the division lead that would have forced a 1 game playoff the next day at Dodger Stadium ( Which my uncle had bought tickets to. Also, yes, at that time, the Atlanta Braves, led by Joe Torre, we’re in the NL West ). It would also my first taste of the BEAT L.A. chant. Yeah, I am aware that the chant was started at Boston Garden earlier that year, but over the years, that chant has never been yelled with such ferver than through the fog across the Golden Gate…..

25thdodgers

Fast forward to 1983, the 25th Anniversary of the Dodgers in this great city of L.A. since their move from Brooklyn. In what should have been a year of transition, the first year minus Cey and Garvey, the Dodgers and Braves would find themselves in another dogfight for the NL West crown. With the Dodgers leading the west by 3 games with 3 to play on the season’s final weekend, yup, you guessed it, it would be the hated one’s in town….

While clinching the NL West in 1983 may not have had the same drama that the previous years events had, it sure had to feel great to have the hated ones watch our Boys in Blue celebrate. Heck, even mother nature couldn’t ruin our night to party !!!! Oh yeah, in that 1983 clip, how ’bout that little known pitcher who came in for Fernando ? Yup, Orel Hershiser. Those two would make quite a tandem eventually…. As for the reserves who came in from the 6th inning on, Cecil Espy and Sid Bream. Well, those two would take part in another epic playoff battle 9 years later… ( Notice how much slimmer Sid Bream was in 1983 ? Now if it was the Sid Bream of ’83 that would have beat Barry Bonds throw in 1992…. )

So there are my memories. 30 years since ’83 huh ? I hope you enjoyed the clips posted, especially the opening theme from the ’83 one, featuring Earth Wind and Fire’s Rock That. ( I could picture Vin Scully yelling IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL to that….) If you didn’t watch them in their entirety, it’s all good. I mean, that’s almost 6 hours of timeless memories right there. And i’m most certainly sure that you all have your own favorite Dodgers/Giants memories as well . So, am I alone in wanting the Giants watch us celebrate this Sunday, even if the odds are against it ?

LOOKING BACK, APRIL 15, 1983….WELCOME BACK STEVE !!!

In another one of my flashbacks to those so-called ” I Was There ” games, we go back to 1983.  In the Dodgers 6-2 win over the Padres, that evenings game would be significant in that it would be former Dodger Steve Garvey’s first game back at Dodger Stadium.  He would be given a 5 minute ovation ( Or it seemed that way ) before making his way toward home plate but not before saluting the crowd back.  The only player left in the 1983 season from that famous long standing infield was SS Bill Russell. 

That evening would also be the first time seeing those god-awful ugly taco brown tops the Padres sported on the road.  So ugly we’re these uni’s that the Padres WS appearance the following year gave it the type of national exposure that would ultimately lead to it’s timely death. 

 

 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, APRIL 1983

 

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