There's a common misconception in Padres fandom that Steve Garvey's number 6 was retired by accident. As you know Steve Garvey hit the most important home run in Padres history in Game 4 of the NLCS. Watching that video today still gives me chills just as it did then. It was the defining moment in club history and Garvey put it best:
"Here in '84 was a first for the Padres, and there's only a first once," Garvey said. "I think that team affected the most people in San Diego, Southern California and around the country."
The importance of the home run can't be denied. Afterward the Padres placed his number 6 above the right field wall where the ball ricocheted. The actual sign showing the number changed over the years. Sometimes it was just the number 6 and other times like in 1993 it was more elaborate. Towards the end of the Qualcomm years, I believe it disappeared completely.
SAN DIEGO - APRIL 4: A view of a Steve Garvey sign marking where the homerun ball landed on October 6, 1984 taken during Opening Day game between the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium on April 4, 1993 in San Diego,California. (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
As the myth goes, the Padres had his number up on the wall and as time passed and Padres employees came and went, it just became assumed that the Garvey's number had been retired. When Petco Park was opened in 2004 and the numbers were added to the top of the batter's eye The Garv's number 6 was mistakenly added with the others.
"I actually do think there's a story there, that I don't know that there was ever an official retirement ceremony. I could be completely making this up, but if memory serves..."
Let me stop you there Brady.
As you can see, Garvey's number was in fact officially retired on April 16, 1988 in a ceremony on the field of Jack Murphy Stadium.
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.
There were fireworks and balloons too, which as Brady knows, makes a retirement ceremony official.
I understand that there is an argument among fans and media as to whether Garvey's number should be retired, but there is not doubt that it was retired.
Still, the act of retiring Garvey's number remains one of the top 5 most polarizing topics for Padres fans.