Friday, July 1, 2011

How A Well Mannered Clean Cut Guy Turned Out To Be A Monster

"How was I supposed to know they'd all gang up and compare notes?"

Steve Garvey Christmas 1988 after four women in his life all get the same gift: gold pins from Tiffany's in the shape of
three X's—for kisses

Been thinking about the Dodgers a lot lately like any baseball fan is. I want you to read this because this is very significant case study on how manipulative someone can get.

Nobody trusts Frank McCourt and I get that. I don't understand how anybody though can trust Steve Garvey.

Steve Garvey is charming and good looking. You can't read this and not be convinced he is also a con man. On paper, my degree is a major in Communications and I could have majored in sociology if I took 3 more courses. I was also licensed to sell financial products. In college my spiritual major was Sports Illustrated and my spiritual minor was Late Night With David Letterman. I last read this article in college but it all came crashing down on me when everybody started talking about a team of investors led by Steve Garvey is lurking to take over the Dodgers.

Lately I have been tasked to help some of our engineers comprehend and speak English. I was telling one of them that Sports Illustrated is not really about sports but it's about people. You will see that in the Garvey article written by true titan in the field of writing: Rick Reilly. I would list Reilly's bite, parallels, humor and sensitivity as an influence on my writing.

This Steve Garvey article below is so fresh, relatively speaking I really thought it was 12 years ago. To my surprise it was actually 22 years ago. Some people love gossip. Me, I love when meticulously crafted public images get totally shredded by the razor of truth. I loved it when Alex Rodriguez's facade came crashing down. Steve Garvey's crash in 1989 is similar.

What I take out of the Garvey article is that how a man and a woman who seemed like the marriage and life were right of central casting concealed two covert monsters. If you read the article, you will see how Garvey is every girlfriend/ wife's worst nightmare. Somebody who just compartmentalizes whatever feelings he has.

I may not be a Dodger lover but to not like Vin Scully is to not like life itself. So eloquent, so melodic, so dignified. I once had a classmate in SFU Sandi Kohn I think her name was. Hardcore Dodger fan. Just in case after 20 years you are reading this Sandi.

Don't know about you but how can someone who turned his personal life into the disaster that it was, be trusted with five cents, let alone a baseball institution like the Dodgers.



November 27, 1989

America's Sweetheart

Life may seem an idyll for Steve Garvey and his new wife, Candace (left),
but baseball's Mr. Clean is the butt of jokes about his sex life, and he
says he is broke

Rick Reilly

Polo shirts by pastel. He'll keep vacuuming a clean carpet just to admire
the parallel patterns he makes. His shirts are monogrammed. When he was a
batboy, the bats rested trademarks out, knobs up, in the order of the day's
starting lineup. He would save his allowance to buy Ban-Lon shirts. (He had
16 in varying colors.) He would sometimes re-iron his mother's ironing, just
to get it exactly right. As a player, he would sweep the dugout steps. When
he joined the San Diego Padres, he suggested a reorganization of the bat and
helmet racks. Much tidier. In his closet in his pink-and-pink house in Del
Mar, Calif., all the shirts are on hangers, facing left. There are no blue
jeans. On the floor, the shoes are treed and the toes all point outward.
Muss his hair, go to jail. You can bounce a quarter off his bed.

So how come his life is such a mess?

For most of his nearly 41 years Garvey lived at the corner of Straight and
Narrow. He played football at Michigan State. Graduated with a B average.
Signed with his boyhood idols, the Dodgers. Married the prettiest girl in
school and had two daughters Norman Rockwell might have painted. Was a
10-time All-Star. Played in five World Series and 1,207 straight games, the
National League record for reliability. And when the Dodgers said he was too
old, he took his button-down swing and won the Padres a pennant. And when he
retired last year, he was crouched and ready for life after baseball. He
owned a business. His main office was a $15,000-a-month layout on La Jolla
Village Drive. In compulsorily hip Southern California, he was hopelessly
square:-jawed,-shouldered,-dealing and-thinking.

Tom Lasorda, who coached and managed Garvey for 10 years on the Dodgers and
two in the minors, once said, "If he ever came to date my daughter, I'd lock
the door and not let him out." Garvey signed autographs until his smile
ached. When he lived in Calabasas, outside L.A., he welcomed the kids who
came to his house for autographs, one time with a plate of cookies. He was
involved in more charities than any carpool of Dodgers. The Multiple
Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics and the Starlight Foundation each gave
him awards for distinguished service. Lindsay, Calif., named a junior high
school after him, trading in Abraham Lincoln. Once, on Nun's Day at Dodger
Stadium, a quadriplegic child asked him to get a hit for her. He got five,
and knocked in five runs and scored five times. He was headed for
Cooperstown and probably Washington. He was a role model's role model, a
dinosaur somebody uncrated from the 1950s and couldn't get back in the box.
"I try to walk around as if a little boy or a little girl was following me,"
he once said.

Well, boys and girls, stick this in your lunchboxes: Garvey currently is on
one side or the other of four lawsuits, having settled two others since Oct.
6. He keeps at least five lawyers in suspenders. In the space of eight
months, he had affairs with three women at once, impregnated two and married
a fourth. A judge jailed his former wife for contempt of court for not
letting him see his kids, and a psychiatrist testified that the kids, who
say they don't want to see Garvey, are suffering from "parental alienation
syndrome." He's up to his chiseled chin in debt, into the scary seven
figures. Two former business associates have sued him. Other than that, it
has been all apple pie and porch swings.

"Some people have a mid-life crisis," he says. "I had a midlife disaster."

The one thing you didn't want to see when you were 10-year-old Steve Garvey
was the porch light on and your mother's car in the driveway. That meant
your invalid grandmother had needed help and you hadn't tended to her, and
now you were in trouble. A whack would be forthcoming.

He called her Nanny, and she lived with the Garvey family in Tampa. A tire
had flown off a truck years before and knocked her down from behind, leaving
both her arms paralyzed. Nanny was good-hearted, but she needed help. And
since Steve's mother, Millie, worked all day in an insurance office and his
dad, Joe, was a bus driver and Steve was an only child, there was nobody
around to help her but him. So Steve would get home from school, clean the
house, start dinner and even help her go to the bathroom. How was she going
to do it? She couldn't lift her skirt very well and, of course, she couldn't
wipe, so he did it for her.

Says Garvey, "I remember the first time, kind of looking at her and saying
to her. 'Do you want me to help you?' and her saying, 'Would you, please?'
You didn't have to say too many words after that. You got over the

When a kid grows up with responsibilities like that, he grows up fast. And
his parents kept a strict house, one where you said "yessir" and "no ma'am"
and pulled your weight and then some. He had to play near the house, to keep
the porch light in view, so he learned how to be alone. He would play
make-believe baseball games—tossing up small grapefruits from the trees next
door and hitting them—between his beloved Dodgers and the Yankees. And if
the Dodgers lost, then they lost. None of this "Wait a minute, ladies and
gentlemen, the umpire has changed his mind!" He would make himself run
sprints as punishment for the Dodgers' losing.

Punishment was important. Punishment was necessary. "Mom would slap me, but
that's what I needed," he says. She was nothing if not demanding, and you
did things her way. One time he gave her a dirty look, and his burly 6'2"
father hit him hard across the face. Never, ever, show disrespect to your
mother. To your grandmother. To women. And so he strove to please everyone.
His room was museum-neat. He went to church more often than his parents did;
he even went to week-day masses. He was an elementary school crossing guard.

And so what you had was a 10-year-old going on 28, a short kid with
amazingly wide shoulders. "I had more responsibilities than two and three
kids," he says. And so he became different. If he broke a window playing
baseball, he wouldn't make like Carl Lewis and dash. He would march right up
to the house and begin arranging a payment plan.

"I can't remember Steve ever giving us any trouble, ever," says his father.
Garvey never wore his hair over his ears. Never rebelled. He was 19 years
old in tie-dyed 1968, wearing color-coordinated Hagar slacks and monogrammed
sweaters. He hated to dance, because dancing in the late '60s was about
losing control. His dormitory room at Michigan State was so neat it made the
eyes of a resident adviser mist. He says he was a virgin until college. "I
guess I just wasn't the kind of guy that liked to fog up the back windows,"
he says. "I had important things I wanted to do."

Even Garvey's games were controlled. "Controlled aggression," as he used to
put it. His was a most mechanical swing, not fluid like Will Clark's, but
purposeful and driving. He stood like a statue, with his head high, chin
forward and Pop-eye arms held away from his body. One writer said he ran as
though not to wrinkle his shirt. In batting practice he kept track of his
line drives. He was knocked down six times in 1980 and six times he got back
up and got hits. He kept track.

Such was his dedication that during his remarkable consecutive game streak,
he played at various times with a hyperextended elbow, 22 stitches in his
chin,, a pulled hamstring, a bruised heel, a migraine, the flu, a 103° fever
and a toenail so impacted they had to drill a hole in it to relieve the
pressure. Garvey felt a responsibility to be there, every day, for the fans.
This is a man who played an entire season at first base without an error.
Emotions won't get you to 200 hits.

He would not cut loose. And around professional athletes, that immediately
made him a flake. Or suspect. He once caught some of his Dodger teammates
giving each other high fives when he got thrown out trying to bunt. One
Dodger was quoted as saying, "You know what? Steve Garvey doesn't have a
friend on this team." He and Don Sutton once brawled on the clubhouse floor.

But how could Garvey be one of the guys? He couldn't act young, like his
teammates. This is a man who calls waitresses by their name tags. He rode on
the coaches' bus, not the players'. He wasn't good at leering at women and
cutting up with the boys. Wouldn't be responsible. Besides, one hotfoot
could mess up a perfectly good pair of shoelaces. "I just never liked to sit
in the back of the plane and see who could throw up into a trash can, that's
all." he says.

And so went the rest of his life, too. At 22 he married Cynthia Truhan, a
prospective medical-school student, who dropped that ambition to be at
Steve's side as he pursued his baseball career. The two of them had few
friends among his teammates and their wives. Steve was more comfortable
around people like Lasorda, his elder by 21 years. Why bother cultivating
friendships with his contemporaries? He had mail to answer, business
contacts to cement, a moral obligation to be at every Cub Scout banquet and
Kiwanis dinner.

He believed in doing the Right Thing. His parents smoked, but he never did.
His teammates swore, but he never did. Cyndy says that when he was having
trouble throwing in his first years as a Dodger, people would call and
scream insults at him. He would listen to everything they had to say and
then hang up. Punishment is important. Yet in 1983, when he broke the
National League record for consecutive games, he took a $ 15,000 ad in the
Los Angeles Times to thank the fans.

But maybe sometimes he has confused responsibility to family with
responsibility to fans. Recently he sat outside a Los Angeles courtroom
where his visitation rights suit was being heard, happily signing
autographs. Cyndy says he once sent his daughter Whitney a birthday card
that read, "Happy Birthday, Best Wishes from Steve Garvey." He can be crying
and the level of his voice doesn't change. Once he apologized to his
daughters with tears in his eyes for having lied about his love life. Later
Krisha, the elder of the two, testified in court that "he didn't seem

As the marriage went on, it became obvious that to find two people more
opposite than Cyndy and Steve would take six episodes of Love Connection.
The guy Cyndy left Garvey for was composer Marvin Hamlisch. Go figure.

Steve was Lake Placid. Cyndy was Fire Island. He ignores slights. She fights
back. When she tried to have a conversation with him, he often remained
silent. So she was subconsciously driven to doing more and more outrageous
things to try to squeeze a reaction out of him. Boy, did she try.

Says Steve, when Cyndy found out she was pregnant with their second daughter
only a year after the first was born, she picked up a knife from a kitchen
counter and came at him with it. "Never happened," says Cyndy. Says Steve,
"All I know is she took six steps towards me, and I was up the stairs in

The one time Hamlisch came to their house, he and Steve went into the den
and two hours later, Cyndy was Hamlisch's. "He gave me away," Cyndy says.
"Unbelievable!" Says Steve, "It felt like a big relief to me." Cyndy claims
that Hamlisch later said, "You know, I've won a Tony, a Pulitzer and an
Academy Award, but that was the easiest prize I ever won." Cyndy took the
kids and left for New York.

At one point, when Cyndy had come back to Los Angeles, she discovered an
appointment book at Steve's office containing entries made by his secretary,
Judy Ross. The entries said things like "Steve and me in San Francisco" and
"Steve and me skiing." Slightly miffed, Cyndy picked up a baseball bat and
started getting good wood on the walls, pictures, vases and clocks. "She was
in there with the baseball bat and a pair of scissors," says Ross. "When she
left, the scissors were stuck in my appointment book."

What has transpired since then is a venomous dispute between Steve and Cyndy
in which their two daughters, now 13 and 15, have been the main victims.
Once, Garvey says, Cyndy called him in Houston and left the message: "Tell
him Krisha's been run over by a truck." Cyndy now says someone, not she,
must have been playing a joke, but Garvey wasn't laughing then. He spent the
next two hours frantically calling hospitals near their home.

The girls did not appear at the Padres' Steve Garvey Night on April 16,
1988. Cyndy says they didn't want to "ride around in a convertible." She
refused to let the kids see him in San Diego as long as he was living with
Ross. When Garvey and his parents showed up at the girls' T-ball game, Cyndy
admits she shoved Millie Garvey. "I was getting my kids' lunch ready," Cyndy
says. "And she spit on me."

Once Cyndy arrived at a Dodger Stadium luncheon honoring Garvey's mother and
screamed obscenities at Steve for 20 minutes in front of club officials and
reporters. She left only after security guards were summoned.

This year Cyndy, now Cynthia Truhan again, published The Secret Life of
Cyndy Garvey, written with Andy Meisler, in which she details a childhood of
verbal and physical abuse by her father and takes a Cuisinart to Steve's

•She wrote that Garvey mimicked her migraine headache symptoms to get out of
the Army. Steve now says he had migraines off and on until he was 35 and
"there's no way you can memorize them [the symptoms]. I may have asked her
about them, wondering if I had the same thing she did." Even if the
migraines were real, letters Garvey wrote to Cyndy in late 1970 from Fort
Jackson, S.C., where he was stationed for basic training, do appear to
support Cyndy's contention that Garvey was angling for a medical discharge.
In one of the letters, he said, "Well, plan 'escape' is being plotted in the
SPG 'Brain' center and it looks good! If I could get five good letters I
think it will work!" Another letter said, "I also got to Dr. Woods and he is
sending a letter for me concerning the mig. headaches. He said he would take
care of me so let's hope so."

•She wrote that while at Michigan State she would take tests and write
papers for Steve, who was supposed to do the work by correspondence while he
was away, playing minor league ball. Steve denies it.

•She wrote that Steve became the National League All-Star first baseman in
1974 as the result of a write-in campaign in which he, she and a few family
friends spent weeks filling ballots for him. Steve denies it. "I think he
was voted in by the people," says Cyndy's brother, Chris, who was there.
"But we are some of the people who helped him out."

On the Oprah-Phil-Larry tour for her book, Cyndy described her former
husband as, randomly, a sociopath, a pathological liar, fraudulent, immoral,
dishonest, cold, aloof and asexual. (Asexual?) Yet she still has his love

Cyndy has become so enraged at Steve that at various times she has kicked a
dent in his car, ripped his shirt, slapped his face and slapped his
accountant's face. Cyndy denies only the last. She said on Donahue that she
hadn't received a dime of child support or alimony. Steve forthwith produced
canceled checks. She wrote in her book that Steve had been ordered by the
court to undergo psychiatric counseling. Actually, the court ordered Steve
and the two daughters to go through the standard evaluation process in a
visitation-rights case. "My ex-wife has one purpose in life," says Garvey.
"To bring her ex-husband down."

Be that as it may, events of the fall and winter of 1988-89 showed that
Garvey was doing a pretty good job of it himself.

haven't seen so many gorgeous girls since I spent Father's Day with Steve
Garvey." Letter in the L.A. Times: "It's been a long time since Steve Garvey
went two for two." T-shirt: STEVE GARVEY IS NOT MY PADRE.

Once in a while even Garvey will laugh at it all. One day, after hugging a
woman, he said to her, "Uh-oh, that was a long one. You're going to have

Not that it has been a lot of laughs for the women involved, or, for that
matter, for him. It probably has ruined his prospects for the political
career he was hoping to have. As a result of the revelations about his sex
life, he lost a cable TV base-ball-for-kids show to Reggie Jackson, and he
resigned his position on the board of trustees at the University of San
Diego, a Catholic school, after the local bishop called him a sociopath.
There were so many jokes about him on this year's Academy Awards show that
his daughters turned off the TV. And when ads bearing his picture began
appearing on the sides of San Diego buses, plugging his morning radio talk
show, somebody wrote "Creep" across his face on one of them.

Steve Garvey? Creep?

•August 1987: Garvey, who has been involved for a year with 5'4", doe-eyed,
Atlanta-based CNN assignment editor Rebecka Mendenhall, gets serious. But he
doesn't get around to mentioning Mendenhall to longtime girlfriend Ross. Or
Ross to Mendenhall. Ross says, "I'd pick him up at the airport and say, 'I
thought you were coming in from Dallas." And he'd say, 'Oh, no, we had to go
to Atlanta to meet with Coke.' "

Who wouldn't believe a man as romantic as Garvey? He would find out what a
woman's favorite song was, frame the sheet music and give it to her. If it
was her 34th birthday, he would send 34 roses. He wrote love poems. Margo
Adams told Penthouse that Garvey was a nicer guy and a better lover than
Wade Boggs. He took his women to the La Jolla Polo shop and outfitted them
in his favorite clothes. When Mendenhall was hospitalized last July, he
slept in the lounge chair next to the bed, holding her hand. He may have
been a rake, but he was their rake.

•January 1988: Garvey, who became a free agent when the Padres refused to
resign him after the '87 season, retires from baseball. He subsequently
campaigns unsuccessfully to become president of the team.

•July 1988: Garvey finds out that San Diego medical products sales
representative Cheryl Ann Moulton is pregnant with his child. They had been
dating for six months. "The first date was much more fun than I thought it
would be, so we went out again," says Garvey. "And then four or five other
times we never left her apartment.

"I was led to believe she was taking responsibility for birth control. If
you want to become pregnant, you just don't use whatever you're using. I
have to feel that she probably did [want to become pregnant]."

Even though a DNA test last winter proved that Garvey was the father of
Moulton's baby, he waited until last month, when a San Diego Superior Court
ordered him to make child-support payments, to begin helping her out. Garvey
has expressed no interest in seeing his now nine-month-old daughter, and
Moulton has refused comment.

•August 1988: Garvey convinces Ross, who has found out about Mendenhall,
that it's nothing serious. He juggles the two of them deftly. At 8 p.m., San
Diego time, he would call Mendenhall in Atlanta and tuck her in. "Then he'd
spend the night at my house," says Ross.

•Nov. 25, 1988: Garvey gets down on one knee and says to Mendenhall,
"Darling, will you marry me?" Mendenhall doesn't have to answer; her kisses
do. Not that he wants to marry her. of course. "She gave me an ultimatum. I
thought I would grow into loving her," he says.

They decide to get married on April 1. "There's some irony in that, isn't
there?" says Mendenhall. (More irony. Mendenhall gave birth to a son on
Friday, Oct. 13.)

•Christmas 1988: Four women in Garvey's life—Ross, Mendenhall, Krisha and
Whitney—all get the same gift: gold pins from Tiffany's in the shape of
three X's—for kisses. "How was I supposed to know they'd all gang up and
compare notes?" Garvey says.

•New Year's Day. 1989: On the way to his ski condo in Deer Valley, Utah, he
tells Krisha and Whitney that he's engaged to Mendenhall. When Krisha calls
Cyndy to tell her, Cyndy begins screaming. Mendenhall, who was with Steve
when Krisha called, says Cyndy was upset because Steve was taking on new
obligations while he still owed her $25,000.

•Jan. 3. 1989: Garvey puts Mendenhall on a plane to Atlanta and then,
according to Ross, tells Ross that he has broken up with Mendenhall. Says
Ross. "He told me, 'You're the one I see myself married to.' "

•Jan. 4, 1989: Garvey's engagement is announced to the press, but according
to Mendenhall, Garvey had already called her to say they would have to delay
the wedding. The reason: Cyndy, he said, was pressuring him to pay her
$25,000 she said he owed her for legal expenses. Later the same day they
talk again and this time Garvey tells Mendenhall that another woman
(Moulton) has phoned him, saying she is pregnant with his child. Garvey says
he told Mendenhall, "Marriage just isn't for me," and broke the engagement.
According to Mendenhall, all he said was he wanted to "push the wedding back
a little."

Meanwhile. Ross is growing skeptical. "He did interviews that day describing
how he'd proposed to her," she says. "...I couldn't believe he could be so

•Jan. 5, 1989: Mendenhall flies to San Diego because, she now says, she was
worried about Moulton and the $25,000, and she wanted to comfort Garvey.
Garvey says she came to talk him out of breaking up. They had sex the next
night. Again, Garvey told SI, he thought she was in charge of the birth
control. "She did the same things she always did," he says. "She walked into
the bathroom beforehand. What am I going to do, follow her?"

Mendenhall's paternity and breach-of-promise suit against Garvey says he was
"fully cognizant" that she hadn't made the usual birth control preparations.
In documents prepared for a U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Garvey now says
they did not have sex on Jan. 6.

•Jan. 8, 1989: Garvey puts Mendenhall on the plane for Atlanta. "We both did
a lot of crying," she says. "He said to me, 'We'll be married. I just need
time.' " Garvey says he broke off the engagement for good before she left.
"People can listen but not hear," he says.

•Jan. 13, 1989: At his annual Ski Classic in Deer Valley—to benefit the Utah
Special Olympics—Garvey falls in love with blonde, blue-green-eyed,
30-year-old Candace Thomas, a former high school cheerleader. Over the next
two weeks, they dance together at the Bush Inauguration, take in the Super
Bowl and become engaged the night of the game. Thomas has been divorced
twice, and her daughters from the first marriage now live with her and

•Jan. 23, 1989: Mendenhall, having heard nothing from Garvey for 13 days,
thinks she has worried herself sick. She has lost nine pounds and can't
sleep. No wonder. She's pregnant.

Garvey and Mendenhall talk. She says that's when he broke off the
engagement. Both agree he said he would take care of the baby.

•Jan. 24, 1989: Garvey calls Ross and tells her about Thomas. "He wanted me
to be happy for him." says Ross. "Can you believe it?...I don't know how he
dealt with all of us in the course of a year. The man's got great stamina."

And when the whole gloppy mess goes public, his daughters are so humiliated
they refuse to see him, according to Cyndy. Steve contends that she had
brainwashed them.

At least 60 times in 1989, according to a suit Steve filed against Cyndy. he
was supposed to meet with his daughters as part of the custody agreement and
wasn't able to because Cyndy had impeded him. For the court-ordered
counseling sessions, for instance, he would drive two hours from San Diego
to Los Angeles, wait around for an hour, then drive back home. There he was
behind the wheel of the $50,000 Mercedes the Padres had given him on Steve
Garvey Night, driving down the dark freeway, Mr. Control, crying.

And if you think those drives were bad, you should have been with him on
Sept. 15, after what he heard in Department No. 9 of the Superior Court for
Los Angeles County. That's where lawyers questioned his daughter, Krisha:

Q: Do you want to see your father?

A: I don't want to see him.

Q: Are you willing to?

A: No....

Q: Do you love your father?

A: No.

Q: Did you ever love your father?

A: When I was little.

After testifying for 90 minutes, she walked, head held high, over to where
her mother sat at the defendant's table, put her head on Cyndy's shoulder
and sobbed. Two weeks later the court ruled in Steve's favor, declaring
Cyndy in contempt for violating a court order that gave Steve the right to
see Krisha and Whitney. Cyndy was in handcuffs as she was led off to serve
the first five days of a 130-day sentence. Now this was getting ridiculous.
The hostess of the cable show, Motherworks, headed for the slammer? She was
freed a day later, after her lawyers obtained a stay of execution, and on
Nov. 1 the remainder of her sentence was suspended pending her compliance
with the court's visitation order.

"He thinks he's won," Cyndy says. "But he has lost everything."

Not that there was much left to lose. After 17 years in major league
baseball, Garvey says he is broke. The $10 million or so that he earned as a
player is nowhere to be found, and he owes the government more than $500,000
in back taxes. His sports marketing firm, Garvey Marketing Group (GMG),
which until recently had space in a San Diego office complex, now operates
out of his home. He owes his former landlord $172,000 in rent. He has sold
his white BMW and his Deer Valley condominium, and he has cashed in two life
insurance policies to pay bills. He makes $9,300 a month as host of the
radio talk show, but he owes more than half that amount in monthly child
support and alimony payments.

For several years GMG has been in the business of staging charity sports
events under the tax-exempt umbrella of the Steve Garvey Foundation. Tax
forms filed by the foundation with the California attorney general's
Registry of Charitable Trusts for the years ending Jan. 31, 1987, '88 and
'89 reveal some remarkably unsuccessful fund-raising. For instance, at the
'87 Steve Garvey Celebrity Ski Classic in Deer Valley, an auction was held
to benefit Utah Special Olympics. Several big-ticket items—two pairs of
American Airline tickets to anywhere, Rossignol skis, Fila skiwear, and
several weekends at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, all of them
donated—were sold to the highest bidders. The total revenue from the
auction, as reported to the IRS on the foundation's Form 990 for the period
from Feb. 1, 1986, to Jan. 31. 1987, was $4,315. After expenses of $3,119
had been deducted, all that was left was $1,196.

"Utah Special Olympics ran the auction and kept the money," says Jim Harper,
who is Garvey's accountant and the chief financial officer of the Steve
Garvey Foundation. "The revenue [reported) didn't include income from the
auction." Nevertheless, line 9a of Part I of the foundation's Form 990 says,
alongside Gross Revenue, "AUCTION $4,315" plain as day. Jim Murphy,
executive director of Utah Special Olympics from 1984 to '87, who helped
supervise the auction, says, "The majority of people wrote checks to the
Steve Garvey Foundation.... For the most part all the money went through
their books."

Between Jan. 1, 1987, and Jan. 31,'88, GMG organized five charity events—two
celebrity golf tournaments, two celebrity ski events and a party/golf
extravaganza at Super Bowl XXII in San Diego. The total amount of money
raised by all these events, according again to the foundation's Form 990,
was $174,790. The expenses incurred in raising that money were $150,076.
That left net proceeds of $24,714, of which $13,763 had been donated to
charities by the end of '88. "I've seen more money raised [for charity] at
backyard carnivals," said a former Garvey associate.

What Garvey has become in the American hurly-burly is everything he never
wanted to be: a divorced husband, an unloved father, an unadmired teammate,
a sinning Christian, a lying man of honor, a failed businessman, a control
freak out of control. Not very responsible. Not very tidy.

Maybe somewhere along the line Garvey figured out that 1950s ethics don't
make it in '80s America. Maybe trying to stay above it all isn't worth it.
Maybe nobody's wings are that strong. Or maybe it's just that nobody trusts
a baseball player with a uniform that clean.

Says Garvey, "I guess I make people mad. There's an inherent skepticism in
the world.... I was an idealist. I thought. 'I'll go out and help everyone.
Why wouldn't they like me?' When I signed with the Dodgers, I was sure that
was the only team I'd ever play for. When I got married, I was sure it would
be to one woman the rest of my life...."

Or maybe what happened is that they took Garvey's childhood away before he
was done with it. Maybe it is too much to care for an invalid and go to
school and do your chores and keep your room surgically clean and watch what
faces you make and be 10 years old all at the same time. And maybe when
you're forced to be that responsible on the outside, you resent it, and you
become someone else on the inside.

Maybe we have found Steve Garvey out, and maybe it's best this way. Maybe,
for better or worse, he can be himself now. The porch light is out for good.

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Copyright © 2007 CNN/Sports Illustrated.


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