SAN DIEGO – He’s perhaps best known for his time in Dodger Blue, but baseball great Steve Garvey etched his name in San Diego Padres’ lore for hitting one of the most memorable home runs in franchise history.
Having played 14 years in Los Angeles where he won a World Series and numerous accolades, Garvey signed with the Padres in 1982. In his second season in San Diego, the then-35-year-old first baseman crushed a two-run walkoff shot in Game 4 of the 1984 National League Championship Series to beat the Chicago Cubs before advancing to the team’s first ever World Series the next day.
It remains a top moment in local sports history, one that stays with Garvey.
“All of us realized the reaction of the crowd, how they nurtured us in Game 3 and they stood most of the game,” Garvey said. “Game 4, it was the same way. Game 4 was a really great game.”
Right before the famous shot, he remembers a chat with Hall of Fame teammate Tony Gwynn.
“I said, ‘T, just get on base and I’m going to try to drive it the other way. If I get it by him, you’re going to score with your running ability,'” he said. “If I get it up, who knows? I got it up and then that 15-20 minutes of just pure joy by the fans and the noise.”
He continued, “There are different types of noises, but this noise was of joy and finally, we’ve won a game that’s important and it was the step that took us to Game 5.”
Garvey, now 72, retired from baseball after the 1987 season. He finished his career as a four-time Gold Glove winner and a 10-time All Star including during the 1974 season when he was named NL MVP. His No. 6 jersey was retired by the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in 1988.