Womack: Steve Garvey: ‘The Hall of Fame is always there’

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on February 9, 2016:

It seemed like a sure thing in the late 1980s that Steve Garvey would eventually be in the Hall of Fame. A Sporting News poll of managers in 1986 named the longtime Dodgers and Padres first baseman as one of 20 players who’d already done enough for induction. Sixteen of these players are now enshrined. Garvey peaked in 1995 at 42.6 percent of the writers’ vote for Cooperstown, short of the necessary 75 percent. But that’s news to some people, Garvey told Sporting News.

“I do a lot of motivational speaking, and they even introduce me as Hall of Famer. I kind of look,” Garvey said with a laugh. ”I’m a little shaken. You don’t want to correct them right there. I say, ‘Thank you and still hopeful and got longer on the ballot this next time.’ But there’s a general perception that I’m in the Hall of Fame, which is very interesting.”

Garvey’s a polarizing candidate. To a traditionalist, Garvey has a solid case. For the years he played, 1969 to 1987, only Pete Rose had more seasons with 200 hits, which Garvey got like clockwork. There’s Garvey’s 1,207 game streak between 1975 and 1983, his .338 batting average in the postseason, his 10 All-Star selections and his 1974 National League MVP Award. There’s his All American image, which took a hit in retirement, but that many fans still remember. End of day, Garvey was a key member of some superb Dodger teams. He’d have a plaque many fans would care to see and probably wouldn’t look out of place giving his induction speech.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb-news/4694358-steve-garvey-the-hall-of-fame-is-always-there

Originally published: February 9, 2016. Last Updated: February 9, 2016.