Today in 1982, Steve Garvey Reaches Consecutive Games Milestone

SteveGarvey Dodgers

As far as the Dodgers history book goes, very few players are mentioned more than legendary first baseman Steve Garvey.

Breaking into the big leagues as a 20-year-old, 5-foot-9 third baseman in 1970, not many fans would-have predicted that Garvey would become one of the most respected ironmen that the MLB has ever seen.

One of Garvey’s most celebrated achievements came on June 7, 1982, when he became only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games, joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell as the only MLB players to accomplish such a feat.

Ironically, the 1982 season was his final campaign in Los Angeles, as he signed a free agent deal with division rival San Diego later that winter. His consecutive games streak stretched into the 1983 season in a Padres uniform, when he appeared in 1,207 consecutive contests before the streak finally ended after he broke his thumb in a collision at home plate against the Braves.

The 1207 consecutive games is still a National League record to this day. The injury was a heartbreaking moment for Garvey, as some pundits felt he had a legitimate chance to make a run at Gehrig’s record of 2130.

Remember, this was almost two decades before Cal Ripken Jr. ultimately broke Gehrig’s record, setting his own mark of a whopping 2632 consecutive games back in 1998.

Among Garvey’s awards are the 1974 NL MVP, the 1974 All-Star Game MVP, the 1978 All-Star Game MVP, the 1978 NLCS MVP, recipient of the 1981 Roberto Clemente Award, the 1984 NLCS MVP, and recipient of the 1984 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.

Garvey earned four career Gold Gloves and was named to ten total NL All-Star squads.

He appeared in five World Series—1974, 1977, 1978 and 1981 with the Dodgers, 1984 with the Padres—with his 1981 endeavor against the Yankees becoming the Dodgers’ first World Championship since 1965.

Aside from his 1974 regular-season MVP campaign, Garvey’s two best seasons arguably came in 1977 and 1978. In 1977, he hit .297/.335/.498 with 25 doubles, 33 long balls and 115 RBI. In 1978, he slashed .316/.353/.499 with 36 doubles, 21 homers, and 113 RBI, alongside 10 stolen bases.


Few fans realize that despite his respectable power numbers, he was one of the team’s most effective contact hitters, as he never struck out more than 90 times in a single season. Playing 162 games and collecting 648 AB in 1979, he punched out just 59 times.

He ranks third in team history with 333 doubles, fifth with 1968 hits, fifth with 992 RBI and sixth with 3004 total bases.

During the 1984 season, Garvey set the record as the only first baseman in baseball history to commit no errors while playing 150 or more games. He handled 1,319 total chances (1,232 putouts and 87 assists) flawlessly in 159 games for the Padres.

He was inducted into the Dodgers team hall of fame, Legends of Dodgers Baseball, as part of the inaugural class in 2018.


17 thoughts on “Today in 1982, Steve Garvey Reaches Consecutive Games Milestone

  1. 1319 chances with no errors is absolutely amazing. I’ll always remember how great he was at scooping throws in the dirt.

  2. I liked Garvey. I thought he was about as clutch as they came. He was pretty disliked by some of his team mates, especially by Sutton. Their famous dust up on the clubhouse floor is plenty of evidence of that.

  3. I honestly never thought Gehrig’s record would be broken. I also think that Ripken would have been better served as a player taking a day or two off instead of playing every day. Especially on a team that was out of the pennant race as much as the Orioles were. It served no purpose to play that much, and I honestly believe it affected his career totals. In a 21 year career he hit .300 or better only 4 times. From 87 to 1990, he hit a little over .250 during those 4 seasons. Yes, he is a legitimate hall of famer, I just feel he could have benefited himself and his team with a little time off.

  4. Hey guys how have you been? You’re right about Ripken bear, he definitely sacrificed his stats by not taking a rest now and then. It’s been a while, but from what I can remember, his numbers use to drop off quite a bit towards the end of the season, especially when he got into his thirties.

    1. Hey Keith, good to see you back again. I also agree with Bear’s point about Ripken’s having sacrificed some stats in order to play every day, but I bet if you asked him he’d say he would do it the same way if he had a chance to do it over again.

      1. Don’t doubt that he would. It is his crowning achievement. He was a career .276 hitter. But I still think on a team that was as bad as those Oriole teams were, it was unnecessary. He did have decent post season numbers, but was lousy in his only World Series. And he was not a big run producer. That being said, I think his streak is one of the safer records in baseball. I also think Garvey’s is pretty safe for the time being. Hard to believe but if you check I am pretty sure the longest streak for a Dodger since Garv is held by Matt Kemp.

  5. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with a site called They assign trade values based on player stats, etc. for each player and then allow you to make up trades, trying to match the values as closely as possible for both teams involved.
    Today they had a Dodger trade for Josh Hader with Gonsolin, Gray and Hoese going back the other way. By their numbers, this trade is approximately even. How do you folks feel about that trade? Yes or no?
    And how about some participation from our hosts on this one. Dennis and Andy, you post your articles but we don’t get many comments from you any more.

  6. I don’t think I would do the trade, for this season it might be okay, but I think it would limit AF in other moves next season. Gonsolin, Gray, and Hoese could all be pieces that could be used in big deals. I would like to see what this bull pen can do the way it stands right now, before we trade away those kind of assets. If this bull pen started to flounder, I could be persuaded pretty easily, though.

  7. Jeff, did you read the Brewers we’re talking about Hader, where did this come up at?

    1. No Keith, haven’t heard anything. If you go to the site I mentioned, this is their whole thing, just allowing people to match up players of equal value (by their measuring stick) for trades. Take a look, it’s something to do when you’re bored. Besides there is a moratorium on all transactions at this point so we couldn’t make that trade even if both sides agreed.
      I wouldn’t make the trade either, mainly because Hader throws so hard I’m expecting his arm to fall off any moment.

  8. Hader was supposedly on the block during the winter, but i sure have not heard anything since. And i am not giving up those 3 guys for him. Relievers can be great one year and suck the next. Too many variables. Anyone going to watch the draft?? I am not really into that.

    1. I’ll be watching the draft. Always like to look for video of the guys we draft to see how they look. The day we drafted Belli I told my son that he was going to be a good one.
      And no, I’m not going to give you the names of the 14 other guys we drafted through the years that I also said would be stars and are now completely out of baseball after failing miserably.
      Anyway, it’s a fun exercise and in particular this year with nothing else happening. You have your cards Bear and I have the draft. To each his own.

  9. I read Gurnick’s draft analysis on Gives me a little insight to what they might be thinking. My biggest takeaway from that was a statement by Gasparino, he said because of the low bonus’s being offered and the 20,000 max on signing bonus, that he feels a lot of the top high school players will opt to head to college. I thought that was very astute of him.

    1. Definitely makes sense. The guys that are getting really screwed are college seniors. They have nowhere to go. College underclassmen can stay in school another year. High school kids can go to either a JC or a 4-yr college. It’s the college seniors that will probably be the bulk of guys signing those $20,000 deals.

      1. I would definitely have to agree on that point for sure. The others that will sign are the undrafted kids. There will be a HUGE free agent pool this year, and teams will fill those vacancy’s created when they released all those minore leaguers over the last month.

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