Steve Garvey will be watching World Series Game 3 on television at home with his son.
He is hopeful of driving down Wednesday for Game 4, but first things first.
He was kind of, sort of, wondering.
Anybody got tickets?
Before the midnight receptions, the towel waving, the Hells Bells, the frenzy that has made this city believe it can stop a World Series in its tracks, there was a man and his fist.
Before everything you see here this week, there was Steve Garvey teaching everybody how it all works, how it all should feel.
His ninth-inning, two-run, game-winning home run in Game 4 of the 1984 National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs--capping a four-hit, five-RBI day--propelled the Padres from elimination to an eventual spot in their first World Series.
With one swing on a 1-0 pitch off Lee Smith with the score tied 5-all, Garvey showed a football town the magic of another game.
Celebrating with a right fist raised high in the air as he rounded second base, he taught the locals there wasn't anything in sports that couldn't be changed with a single dramatic gesture.
It is a lesson that thousands remember and will carry with them to the park today as the Padres fight the Yankees from a familiar two-games-to-none hole .
It is a hit that remains the most dramatic moment in San Diego sports history.
It was accompanied by noise that has been unmatched here since.
It is a play that still makes Garvey want to raise that fist.
"I have to tell you, when I hear it a replay of it on the radio, I still get chills," Garvey said Monday.
Judging from the reaction of the Padre front office, however, he may be the only one.
The perfect man for tonight's party has not been invited.
The most inspirational figure they could trot to the mound will not be within 130 miles of the place.
Can you imagine the 14 years of frustration that would tumble from 64,000 hyped-up fans if Garvey were to step out of the dugout after they show the video of the home run?
He wouldn't have to talk, wouldn't have to throw out a first pitch, wouldn't even have to wave.
Just raise that fist. Just for a moment.
Can you imagine that?
The Padre front office, apparently, couldn't.
"Our doors are open, our arms are open, for Steve and all ex-Padres," said Charles Steinberg, Padre senior vice president for public affairs. "But I can't tell you whether any overtures have been made to anybody."
Garvey has not only been excluded, he has been erased.
For several years after his home run, there was a plaque hanging on the concrete wall beyond the right-center field fence where the ball first struck.
Painted on that spot was a Padre jersey with Garvey's number 6.
It disappeared with the stadium renovation.
"I was down there a couple of months ago making a movie, I looked up, and it's all gone," Garvey said. "I thought, 'Oh, OK.' "
Make no mistake. Garvey is not complaining.
He is happy and busy giving motivational speeches and running the Garvey Management Group. He even works a bit as a distant advisor to the Dodgers.
Garvey, even at 49, is still Garvey. If he doesn't like somebody or something, he's not going to say anything about it.
He has enough contacts to get a dozen tickets for Wednesday's game. He doesn't need the Padres or your pity.
He didn't call me. I called him.
He won't say it. But I will.
Teams ignore their history at the risk of their future. The real measure of a franchise is not in the length of its payroll, but its memory.
Can those who forget their roots be trusted with your roots?
If this week's ceremonies are all about major league baseball and nothing about the Padres, then the Padres should be ashamed.
When the Yankees were not allowed to use local legend Robert Merrill to sing the National Anthem before Game 1, owner George Steinbrenner was not just ashamed, he was infuriated.
The next night, Merrill sang, and the family of late Yankee star Roger Maris threw out the first ball.
Garvey spoke to the Padres briefly about working for them after he retired in January 1988, but never heard back.
He hasn't spoken at length to anyone in management there for several years.
It's not because he is a former Dodger, is it? Surely this successful and professional franchise has beaten the Dodgers senseless enough times that it has overcome that blue inferiority complex?
"We have a lot of players who have come from, or gone to, other organizations," said Steinberg, citing, among others, Ozzie Smith. "I don't think that is an issue with us."
"In all fairness," said Garvey, "every time you change ownership, a little bit of the past is eroded."
But he wasn't just a little bit. He was the first bit.
OK, so Garvey was only with the Padres for five years.
Reggie Jackson was only with the Yankees five years, and his payment for some big home runs was a center field plaque they'll never tear down.
Forgive Garvey if, while watching today's game, his mind wanders back to 1984.
He said, "I still see hitting the ball, watching it go toward the wall, watching Henry Cotto climb the wall, thinking he was going to make the greatest catch in history, then it went over and there was all this noise and . . . it was like time stood still."
Silly him, thinking it would stay that way.
NEW YORK vs. SAN DIEGO
TONIGHT'S GAME 3
New York (Cone, 20-7) at San Diego (Hitchcock, 9-7)
The World Series will end sooner than expected unless things change. Page 6
* HAPPY GUY
Dick Williams is happy Mark Langston gave up a grand slam. Page 6
Ken Griffey Jr. and Greg Maddux won their ninth straight Gold Glove awards. Page 7