Steve Garvey’s first pitch is a brash prediction come true for Dodgers

first_imgSteve Garvey participated in the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium — via relay throw from first base — but that’s not the kind of thing he knew would really gets Dodgers fans energized.The former Dodger decided he should kick it up a notch when given the microphone for the usual welcome mantra before Monday’s Game 4 of the National League Division Series. “Welcome to the final game of the NLDS,” Garvey shouted.He then pumped his fist. And Dodgers fans roared. This was an elimination game for Atlanta, but if the Braves had won, there would have been a Game 5 Wednesday in Atlanta.The Braves dugout was quiet, but Atlanta catcher Brian McCann surely had to resist the impulse to block Garvey’s way back into the stands.“I said to myself, ‘What can I say to really get the crowd going?’” Garvey said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I’ll just say, ‘Welcome to the last game.’ I’ve had more response from that. The Braves didn’t like it, but that’s OK. The ends justifies the means. I’m just surprised (at the response).”“It was just one of those things. It was spontaneous.”Garvey — who was on the World Series championship team in 1981 — clearly still bleeds Dodgers blue. He last worked for the organization in 2011 under previous owner Frank McCourt, and Garvey was part of a group that tried to buy the Dodgers. Even though he commutes to games from Palm Desert, Garvey and his family stayed to watch the Dodgers celebration, and when he returned to the parking lot, his car — sporting a Dodgers decal — had a cracked windshield.“Maybe they took (my speech) personally,” Garvey said with a laugh. He tweeted a picture of the windshield in daylight and figured a Braves fan was responsible. Garvey didn’t think anyone would’ve known it was his car. “It’s a big parking lot,” Garvey said. “After all these years, I’ve had a cracked windshield and door bent. Those aren’t bad odds.”The 64-year-old former first baseman couldn’t be more pleased the Dodgers beat the Braves 4-3 in Game 4 and won the series 3-1 to advance to the National League Championship Series.“It’s just nice to see the resurgence,” Garvey said. “It’s nice to see the commitment by the Guggenheim Partners. It’s extremely difficult to take over the franchise in the middle of the year like they did last year.”“You’re really only new once. They put money into the structure of Dodger Stadium and stood up and did all these things.”The Dodgers have done plenty of things, rebounding from a disastrous start to the season with a 42-8 run and the National League West title. The fun is back at Dodger Stadium.“When the game was over, everyone lingered. You want to absorb these victories,” Garvey said. “It’s fun watching these guys.”Garvey and his family arrived home to Palm Desert at 1 a.m., and the kids were late to school by 30 minutes. “Some mornings, you have a pretty good excuse,” Garvey said. Garvey is doing well after a health scare last year when he learned he had PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen). Garvey said he took the PSA test early, it was detected and he had a radical prostatectomy in October. He’s in the works to host a prostate cancer awareness speaker series at UCLA in January. “I’m virtually clean, but you’re always guardedly optimistic,” Garvey said. “I’m doing a lot of work with prostate cancer awareness now. You do what you can to help out.”“With breast cancer awareness, there are pink ribbons, but guys aren’t like that. They don’t want to talk about it. It needs a voice just to get guys to start a dialogue and to understand to take the PSA every year.”Garvey isn’t afraid to talk about anything.Especially not to make a bold prediction before a playoff game.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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