Cooperstown Chronicles – Steve Garvey

Jan 21, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

It’s tough to decide whether Garvey was better with his stick or his glove.  He hit .300 or better seven times.  He took home four Gold Gloves.  For some reason though, he’s not a member of the Hall of Fame.

Photo Courtesty of Icon SMI 

The Numbers
.294 Batting Average
8835 At Bats (70th All-time)
1143 Runs
2599 Hits (70th All-time)
3941 Total Bases (81st All-time)
440 Doubles (96th All-time)
272 Home Runs
1308 RBI (92nd All-time)
.994 Fielding % (.996% at 1st Base)

The Awards
1974 MVP
2 All-Star MVPs
Roberto Clemente Award
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
10 All-Stars Appearances
4 Gold Gloves
Received MVP votes in 9 seasons

Top Ten Finishes

Batting Average – 6 times
Slugging % – Twice
At Bats - 11 times
Runs – Twice
Hits – Ten times (Led league in ’78 & ’80)
Total Bases – Nine times
Doubles – 7 times
Triples – Once
RBI – 7 Times 

I don’t get it.  The guy could hit and was a wiz with the glove.  He was durable, consistent, and excellent.  He delivered in the playoffs (.338 BA overall – .319 in World Series play; 11 HR in 11 playoff games).  He won plenty of awards.  He should receive one more award…the ultimate one…a spot in the Hall of Fame.


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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15 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. BraystreetLad
    September 30th, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    Garvey was not an efficient hitter,using up as many as 444 outs to re-cord his 100 RBI seasons.Thus,I don’t consider him a Hall Of Famer.
    (I believe his teammates Reggie Smith and Ron “The Penguin” Cey more
    worthy of a plaque.)
    At 55,I remember Garvey’s playing DB for the Michigan State Spartans
    40 years ago.He was good,but far from speedy enough for the NFL.

  2. LestersLegends
    September 30th, 2008 at 11:19 am #

    Bray – Thanks for sharing. He was a solid hitter though with an exceptional glove.

  3. Heatherfeather
    October 23rd, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    Garvey may not be Hall of Fame material, but he was definitely a Star In His Time (SITT). Durable, (the numbers above should include his 1207 consecutive games played) consistent, and lethal with the stick AND the glove. Garvey was a working man’s hero for his clutch play. The Hall of Fame though, is like getting made in the mob. I think the “books are closed” on Garvey, but he will be an icon to anyone growing up in LA during his era.

  4. LestersLegends
    October 23rd, 2008 at 6:59 am #

    Well said Heather

  5. 1RadDad
    January 15th, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Steve Garvey’s career speaks for itself. In addition to the consecutive games played stat that’s missing above (only two players in baseball history proved to be more durable– Lou Gerhig and Cal Ripkin Jr.) he is only 1 of two players to be “written in” to the All Star Game. The reason he isn’t in the Hall is because something smells… People just don’t want to forgive a paragon when he goes awry.

    In addition, anyone who things Ron Cey more deserving of entry than Steve Garvey is just not very baseball savy…

  6. LestersLegends
    January 15th, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    1 Rad – fair enough, though Bray is pretty saavy.

  7. BraystreetLad
    January 16th, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    However,I wonder if the Veterans’ Committee might grab Garvey in the teens,somewhat discounting the true meaning of his stats.(MUCH more im-
    portantly,the Vets MUST soon induct Bert Blyleven,Ron Santo,Dick Allen,
    Tony Oliva and a number of nineteenth-and early twentieth-century greats
    they and the original Old-Timers’ Committee missed honouring.

  8. LestersLegends
    January 16th, 2009 at 8:30 am #


  9. Cooperstown Chronicles - Jesse Haines | 1800blogger
    May 7th, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    [...] Evans Rick Ferrell* Wes Ferrell Chuck Finley Steve Finley Nellie Fox* John Franco Gary Gaetti Steve Garvey Lefty Gomez* Luis Gonzalez Dwight Gooden Joe Gordon Mark Grace Bobby Grich Charlie Grimm [...]

  10. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    [...] Evans Rick Ferrell* Wes Ferrell Chuck Finley Steve Finley Nellie Fox* John Franco Gary Gaetti Steve Garvey Lefty Gomez* Luis Gonzalez Dwight Gooden Joe Gordon Mark Grace Bobby Grich Charlie Grimm [...]

  11. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | 1800blogger
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    [...] Evans Rick Ferrell* Wes Ferrell Chuck Finley Steve Finley Nellie Fox* John Franco Gary Gaetti Steve Garvey Lefty Gomez* Luis Gonzalez Dwight Gooden Joe Gordon Mark Grace Bobby Grich Charlie Grimm [...]

  12. johnls
    July 5th, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Garvey was a monster! I hated him, because I hated the Dodgers so much back in the 70′s, but I believe he is the most deserving player NOT in the hall of fame. And we all know why…the wife/kids thing. Big deal. I want my HOF’ers to be judges by their ability and contribution to the game on the field, not in the bed. Garvey KILLED his opponents and his stats were incredible…six 200 hit seasons in seven years and an iron man streak that was second to only Gehrig for years (1307 games, not 1207 as previously listed). Plainly stated…he was a dominant player from 1974-1984. I hated that guy! He was so great!

  13. LestersLegends
    July 5th, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    john – totally agree

  14. Dave Korn
    August 14th, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    I believe the only reason that the Garv is not in the HOF is because of his PERSONAL errors back in 1989. They were so surprising to everyone, and they came out one year after his retirement, that, unfortunately, their stigma stuck with him around the time that the Hall came calling. His stats and awards definitely stack up. I have been a fan since the 1974 season, and I am an A’s fan. He is to me like Gil Hodges is to him. I hope the veteran’s committee takes a look at his body of work, and leaves his personal (outside of and after his career in baseball) mistakes, out of the decision-making process. Who better defined 1970′s Dodger baseball, and who was the biggest factor in the Padres reaching the playoffs for the first time? I’ll tell – No. 6!

  15. Dave Korn
    May 24th, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    I, finally, had the opportunity to meet Steve Garvey, this past January, at a meet and greet. We talked about the HOF Veteran’s Committee, and how we felt that they completely missed the boat on inducting any “Expansion Era” BALLPLAYERS. Instead, they elected an umpire, Pat Gillick. What happened to electing players, as in Steve Garvey? Steve, as I could sense in his tone, was disappointed and frustrated, without knocking the Gillick vote. As Steve said, if you’re looking to vote in a player from that era, you would hope that they do just that. I hope that this committee realizes that they neglected to do their job this past year, and the next time the opportunity arises to send a deserving ballplayer, like Steve Garvey, to the HOF, they put him on “the boat” to Cooperstown!

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