Card fact: This is the first All-Star card I ever saw.
What I thought about this card then: This is one of the all-time coolest cards of my early collecting life. I had the mini Steve Garvey card, and for a long time, I never saw the regular-sized Garvey. When I finally acquired the regulation size Popeye, it seemed freakishly big and somehow so wrong. It took a long time getting used to it.
What I think about this card now: It's still a classic. Garvey's stance is instantly recognizable and I love the trees in the background.
Other stuff: I could write a long time about Garvey, but I'll keep it short. He is the first star of my favorite team that I ever knew. Garvey was just beginning to break out as I was beginning to learn about baseball. Although he was hugely popular with a lot of fans, he was never my favorite player. He was just too smooth and clean-cut for me. I preferred the guys with long hair and mustaches. When Garvey and Don Sutton got in that brawl in 1978, I was both horrified that players on my favorite team would bicker and also pleased that someone on Garvey's own team saw him as a bit irritating. Sutton won more of my respect on that day.
That's not to say I was totally down on Garvey. I was proud to have him on my team and sad when he left. Garvey was a tremendously clutch hitter and watching him during the 1978 postseason was awesome. He seemed to hit everything. He had a mechanical way about him, but he was awfully good.
I always remember him as a young guy. It's sad to know that he is 61 years old.
Back facts: Not only was Garvey a bat boy for the Dodgers, but he worked as a bat boy for the Tigers and the Yankees, too.
You'll note that 1974 was Garvey's real break-out season and he reached the All-Star Game that year through write-in ballot.
Other blog stuff: Here is the regular Garvey and mini Garvey (overhandled by a 9-year-old) side by side.
Also, it's time to fill in the All-Star team with Garvey's addition:
3B - Brooks Robinson
C - Carlton Fisk
1B - Steve Garvey
OF - Hank Aaron