Steve Garvey (True) Rookie Cards

With the 13th Pick in the 1st Round of the 1968 MLB June Amateur Draft-Secondary Phase, the LA Dodgers selected, Steve Garvey from Michigan State University. Steve Garvey has two true rookie cards.

When thinking of legendary Dodger baseball players we think of Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Don Sutton. But the origins of Dodger baseball go much deeper than that. Before the 1958 season, they were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers. It is here that you will find another tier of legend.

Men like Roy Campanella, Leo Durocher, Duke Snider, and who can forget the unfading legend of Jackie Robinson, just to name a few. However, there is one man that has ties with both Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. His story has made him a child of destiny.

Steve Garvey Has a Date With Destiny

On March 29, 1956, at the young age of seven, Steve’s dad allowed him to skip school and go to work with him. His dad drove a charter bus and his duties this day was to drive to Tampa Airport and pick up the World Champions Brooklyn Dodgers.

Steve remembers standing outside the plane as the players exited and recall having conversations that day with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.

Definitely, a day any seven-year-old boy would remember for a lifetime. But wait it gets better, his dad had to drive the Brooklyn Dodgers to St. Petersberg Florida for an exhibition game against the New York Yankees. It was at this game that the young Steve Garvey was invited to be the bat-boy for the day.

As destiny would have it he went on to be the spring training bat-boy for the next seven years. He worked hard at the game of baseball and wouldn’t you know it in 1968 he was drafted by non-other than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Career Stats & Accomplishments of Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey played for the Dodgers for 14 of 19 years in the MLB. The other 5 for the San Diego Padres. He was a model of consistency and excellence playing in 2,332 games.

Career Stats: 2599 Hits | 272 Homeruns | 1,308 RBI’s | .294 Batting Avg

Career Accomplishments:

  • 1974 MVP
  • 10x All-Star
  • 4x Gold Glove
  • 2x NLCS MVP
  • 2x AS MVP
  • 1981 Roberto Clemente Award
  • 1984 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

I am not taking anything away from anyone. I respect and honor all those inducted into the Hall of Fame. But there are current Hall of Famers, who will remain nameless for the purposes of this point but they do not have half of the accolades that Steve Garvey has.

Not sure if there was a stricter guideline during his years of eligibility or perhaps something personal against him but I grew up watching him play and believe he should be a Hall of Famer.


Before We Begin

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True Rookie Card

Identifier (RC) Defined

A rookie card is a trading card that is the first to feature an athlete AFTER that athlete has participated in the highest level of competition within his or her respected sport. It must be licensed by both the League and the Players Association. An RC identifier is only given to cards that fit this criteria. Below is an exhaustive list of the featured players true rookie cards.

1971 Topps, #341 (RC)

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The 1971 Topps was the largest to date printed by the card manufacturer, 792 cards completed the set run which was the template for many years to come. To date, this is one of the more popular sets among collectors for its handsome design.

Mint copies are extremely rare due to flaking and chipping along the edges. The big bold letters along the top of the card are the candles on the cake.

Be careful buying these raw because they have been known for being doctored. Edges are either trimmed to clean up the chipping or black markers are used to color over them.


1971 O-Pee-Chee, #341 (RC)

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A second rookie card exists for Steve Garvey. The O-Pee-Chee brand printed and distributed in Canada and is a bit smaller at 752 cards to complete the set.

The real differences are in the cards back. The most obvious is the yellow ink compared to the green ink on the Topps. Also, the commentary has French and English translations.

At some point, if Steve Garvey makes it into the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee as many anticipate these two rookie cards will increase in value. I predict now is a good time to add these to your collection.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:

Steve Garvey Stats | Baseball-Reference.com https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/garvest01.shtml (accessed August 9, 2019).

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