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Moreland Gives Garvey Shirt Off Back, Which Then Allows Padres to Retire It

April 17, 1988|BOB WOLF

SAN DIEGO — The Padres paid Steve Garvey the ultimate tribute, making him the first man in the club's history to have his number retired.

Keith Moreland had worn No. 6 ever since he entered the major leagues 10 years ago, but he gave it up in a pregame ceremony on Steve Garvey Night and switched to No. 7.

After the club president, Chub Feeney, announced that Garvey's number would never be worn by another Padre, Moreland charged out of the dugout and presented Garvey with a framed picture of Padre jersey No. 6.

Garvey, who retired during the off-season after a career that made him a cinch to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, was showered with gifts ranging from a 1988 Mercedes Benz to a letter from President Reagan to a proclamation from the City Council declaring it Steve Garvey Day.

The fans gave Garvey two standing ovations and cheered loudest during a replay of Garvey's game-winning home run in the fourth game of the 1984 National League Championship Series.

"This is both the best of moments and the worst of moments for me," Garvey said, "because after 20 years in professional baseball, I'll no longer have a chance to play. . . . "I've often been asked to recall my greatest thrill in baseball. Obviously, what happened in 1984 was one of them. That made all of us happy. The other was to be able to play all this time in the major leagues. To do that has been an honor, and your support made me commit myself to you."

Garvey was then driven around the field to the accompaniment of fireworks and balloons, including an oversized one bearing No. 6.

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