On this day 66 years ago, Steven Patrick Garvey was born in Tampa, Florida. His parents just moved from New York to Florida.
Growing up, Garvey spent time as a bat boy for the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. He attended Michigan State University and played football and baseball, but the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Garvey in the first round of the 1968 draft.
On September 1, 1969, Garvey made his major league debut as a pinch-hitter and struck out. He had two more at-bats that season and recorded one hit. The right-handed hitting Garvey spent time as the Dodgers’ third baseman the next couple seasons and moved to first base after Wes Parker’s retirement in 1973. He then became a part of the now famous Dodgers infield that spent eight and a half seasons together, along with Bill Russell, Davey Lopes and Ron Cey.
Garvey had a breakout year in 1974, his first full season as a starter and won the National League MVP. That season, he hit .312 with 21 home runs and 111 RBI in 156 games with the Dodgers. He was named an All-Star that year, as well as being named a Gold Glove winner. That year began a string of eight consecutive seasons in which he was named an All-Star and four straight seasons of a Gold Glove.
In 1978, Garvey was named the NLCS MVP after a series in which he hit four home runs and a triple, leading the Dodgers to a series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. After the 1982 season, Garvey became a free agent and signed with the San Diego Padres. He spent five years with the Padres before retiring in 1987.
Garvey had a solid career and was a 10-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, two-time All-Star MVP, two-time NLCS MVP and a World Series champion in 1981. He owns the National League record for most consecutive games played with 1,207 games from 1975-1983.