EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State baseball legend Steve Garvey was recently honored as the Big Ten Club of Southern California’s 2020 Person of the Year.
Garvey was recognized for his athletic success at Michigan State and in Major League Baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, as well as his community service involvement and on the executive board for Fans for the Cure, an organization dedicated to positively influencing the lives of men by organizing medical and educational programs focused on the awareness of prostate cancer.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the award ceremony was held over Zoom, which allowed Big Ten fans to join and watch from around the world.
After a social involving some trivia on Garvey, then introductions from the Big Ten Club President and Michigan State alum, Libby DuBay and from Big Ten Club Vice President Nikki Markota.
Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren also spoke, congratulating and honoring Garvey, and his family. Commissioner Warren also told a story about his childhood as a Little League baseball player growing up in Arizona, and his coach encouraging him to ‘stand up tall like Steve Garvey,’ and him wanting to play like Garvey.
Congratulatory letters and videos from past Spartan teammates Mel Behney and Bill Wooley, as well as Michigan State Director of Athletics Bill Beekman and MSU baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr. were shown.
“On behalf of our baseball program, our athletic department and our entire university, I’d like to congratulate Steve Garvey on being the recipient of the 2020 Big Ten Club Person of the Year,” Boss said. “It’s an extremely well-deserved honor, and one that I couldn’t think of a better person to earn this award. He’s been so gracious to our program, so gracious to our athletic department and our entire university. Congratulations and Go Green!”
Additionally, congratulatory videos from former Dodgers teammates Steve Yeager, Ron Cey and Orel Hershiser, along with Dodgers President Stan Kasten. Hershiser congratulated Garvey on being a graduate of ‘Magic Johnson University’ and referenced his nickname of the ‘Green Hornet’ coming from playing for the Green & White at Michigan State.
“I had roughly 25 offers for college for baseball and football, but I made the decision that Michigan State was the school for me, and arguably, one of the greatest decisions of my life. Having that great education from Michigan State, but also that foundation of also playing collegiate football and baseball, and getting a chance to become a professional,” Garvey said. “I learned all about community and all the elements of life that just happen to encompass a great institution like Michigan State.”
Some of the past honorees include: Kirk Herbstreit, Rashard Mendenhall, Sherry Lansing, Mark Spitz, Bob Hope, Jim Delany, John Wooden, Hayden Fry, Keith Jackson, Tex Winter, Drew Brees, Bob Chapek, Pat Richter, Bob Miller, Steve Alford, Barry Alvarez, Lloyd Carr, Franco Harris, Mark Murphy and Archie Griffin.
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