Rookie Card of “Should Be Great” Steve Garvey

When thinking of legendary Dodger baseball players we think of Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Don Sutton. But the origins of Dodger baseball goes 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.

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 recalls 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.

Steve Garvey played for the Dodgers 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. His career accomplishments include 1974 MVP | 10x All-Star | 4x Gold Glove | 2x NLCS MVP | 2x AS MVP | 1981 Roberto Clemente Award | 1984 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

His career stats are 2599 Hits | 272 Homeruns | 1,308 RBI’s | .294 Batting Avg

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 an All-Time Great.

ROOKIE CARD OF SHOULD BE GREAT

STEVE GARVEY


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1971 Topps, Card No. 341 shop ebay

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.

Great photo of our featured “Should Be Great” outlined with a thin white line that sits on a black border. This border is what makes the card pop with eye appeal but it is brutal on the condition. 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. Card back is printed on basic cardboard stock using green and black ink. A great black and white photo is used along with a player bio and commentary. Not a lot of room for much else so we are given only one-year stats throughout the set.

Be careful buying these raw because they have been known for being doctored. Either edges are trimmed to clean up the chipping or black markers are used to color over them. As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $12.00-$30.00; graded Near Mint copies (7’s) sell between $65.00-$90.00 and Near Mint-Mint copies (8’s) sell in the $230.00-$360.00 range. On July 20, 2019, a Mint (9) sold for $2,027.00 respectfully.


1971 O-Pee-Chee, Card No. 34 shop ebay

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. It’s similar in many ways because it was owned by Topps. 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.

As of the date of this post raw copies can be purchased for $12.00-$30.00; graded Near Mint copies (7’s) sell in the $80.00-$100.00 range. At some point, if Steve Garvey makes 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 invest.

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).
Legends of Dodger Baseball: Steve Garvey. Video. YouTube, published June 1, 2019, by Los Angeles Dodgers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUEpu45bCcM&t=183s (accessed August 10, 2019).
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