It's Hard Out There For A Garvey

When we were kids, there were two baseball players we were instructed to pattern ourselves after, examples of how the game provided structure and organization and produced quality, upstanding gentlemen who were beacons of Good American Values to us all. One stood for hard work, hustle and dedication; the other represented dignity, earnestness and decency. The first was Pete Rose. The second was Steve Garvey. That worked out well.

In a hatchet job (fair, well-researched but seemingly a little unnecessary, no?) piece in the Los Angeles Times on Garvey yesterday, the former Padres and Dodgers first baseman is hammered for being a debt-ridden adulterous cheat, dodging credits and leaving a trail of financial ruin everywhere he goes.

At the website promoting him as a motivational speaker, it says that Garvey's "playing field has changed from the baseball diamond to corporate boardrooms and lecture halls, but the integrity, intensity and the devotion for which this future Hall of Famer is famous for is the same." A promotional DVD shows him standing at a lectern in a sharply pressed suit, the picture of success. In speeches laden with baseball analogies, he talks about teamwork and setting goals.

But that image is at odds with Garvey's financially turbulent private life. A review of more than two dozen court files in California and Utah shows that he's had money troubles dating back at least a decade.

Garvey had once, back in his playing career, been mentioned as a potential political candidate, thanks to his bland good luck and athlete pedigree. Seeing what's happened to him since, we think he might have been better suited for the cause than perhaps we realized.

Former Dodger Great Facing A Mound Of Debt [LA Times]