A LIE CHANGED A CAREER
By: Annie Yu
Steve Garvey was the utility infielder for the Dodgers on the night of their game against the Cincinnati Reds in 1973. In the first game, they lost 4-1. Manager Walter Alston wasn’t going to take this. So in the locker room, he asked Garvey to be first.
“I was sitting at my locker,” Garvey reminiscences, “and Walter Alston came by and stopped me and asked, ‘Have you ever played first?’”
Garvey hadn’t. “But,” Garvey added with a mischievous grin, “I wasn’t gonna tell him.”
That night, Garvey lined up alongside Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes. For the next 8 and a half years, it stayed that way. They collected 21 All-Star Game appearances, 4 National League pennants, and a 1981 World Series Title. They did it all together. The four of them were a team in a team, they had the four positions that made them inherently close, and they bonded over those long years.
The four of them became something like a family, always together. It was Garvey, Cey, Russell, and Lopes, and it felt like nothing could stop them.
“We didn’t take anything for granted back then. You had to be successful to be together that long,” Russell explains.
They were indeed very successful. Cey went to 6 All-Star Games. Russell made the Midsummer Classic three times. Lopes was a “Rookie of the Year” finalist, a Gold Glove winner, and a 4-time-All-Star. Garvey was a 4-time Gold Glove winner, won an NL MVP Award, and appeared in 8 All-Star games—all one after the other.”
They were the heart of the team, they were a legend.
“It’s just like your family,” said Russell.