The worst day of my young life wasn’t my parents fighting or getting divorced, our house fire, going 0-for-Little League, or even having my card collection thrown away (the first, second, or third time!) but the day my friends and I learned Steve Garvey was no longer a Dodger.
This was a tough pill to swallow. For kids my age growing up in Los Angeles, Steve Garvey wasn’t just on the Dodgers. He was the Dodgers. He was practically baseball itself.
It was a relief when the Topps cards came out and Mr. Clean showed no trace of Padre. It was the perfect card for young fans in denial like me. STEVE GARVEY, 1st BASE, DODGERS.
O-Pee-Chee, on the other hand, wasn’t quite so kind. Yes, Steve was still clad in Dodger blue but the rest of the card dealt a harsh blow to my young mind. Though not intended, I chose to read the card this way: STEVE GARVEY, 1st BASE PREMIER…BUT PADRES?!?!
The final blow, however, came when Topps issued its 1983 Traded set, which I masochistically purchased to secure the Darryl 🍓. The metamorphosis was now complete. STEVE GARVEY, 1st BASE, PADRES.
They say history is written by the victors, and I was no victor in this Garvey tug-o-war. Still, through the magic of scissors and glitter, I can at least re-create the 1983 season as it should have been.
Once a Dodger always a Dodger!
Thanks to fellow Garvey fan @ngreenroom who claimed this card with his donation to the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.