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AMERICA'S Sweetheart
Rick Reilly
November 27, 1989
Life may seem an idyll for Steve Garvey and his new wife, Candace (left), but baseball's Mr. Clean is the butt of jokes about his sex life, and he says he is broke
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November 27, 1989

America's Sweetheart

Life may seem an idyll for Steve Garvey and his new wife, Candace (left), but baseball's Mr. Clean is the butt of jokes about his sex life, and he says he is broke

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As the marriage went on, it became obvious that to find two people more opposite than Cyndy and Steve would take six episodes of Love Connection. The guy Cyndy left Garvey for was composer Marvin Hamlisch. Go figure.

Steve was Lake Placid. Cyndy was Fire Island. He ignores slights. She fights back. When she tried to have a conversation with him, he often remained silent. So she was subconsciously driven to doing more and more outrageous things to try to squeeze a reaction out of him. Boy, did she try.

Says Steve, when Cyndy found out she was pregnant with their second daughter only a year after the first was born, she picked up a knife from a kitchen counter and came at him with it. "Never happened," says Cyndy. Says Steve, "All I know is she took six steps towards me, and I was up the stairs in three."

The one time Hamlisch came to their house, he and Steve went into the den and two hours later, Cyndy was Hamlisch's. "He gave me away," Cyndy says. "Unbelievable!" Says Steve, "It felt like a big relief to me." Cyndy claims that Hamlisch later said, "You know, I've won a Tony, a Pulitzer and an Academy Award, but that was the easiest prize I ever won." Cyndy took the kids and left for New York.

At one point, when Cyndy had come back to Los Angeles, she discovered an appointment book at Steve's office containing entries made by his secretary, Judy Ross. The entries said things like "Steve and me in San Francisco" and "Steve and me skiing." Slightly miffed, Cyndy picked up a baseball bat and started getting good wood on the walls, pictures, vases and clocks. "She was in there with the baseball bat and a pair of scissors," says Ross. "When she left, the scissors were stuck in my appointment book."

What has transpired since then is a venomous dispute between Steve and Cyndy in which their two daughters, now 13 and 15, have been the main victims. Once, Garvey says, Cyndy called him in Houston and left the message: "Tell him Krisha's been run over by a truck." Cyndy now says someone, not she, must have been playing a joke, but Garvey wasn't laughing then. He spent the next two hours frantically calling hospitals near their home.

The girls did not appear at the Padres' Steve Garvey Night on April 16, 1988. Cyndy says they didn't want to "ride around in a convertible." She refused to let the kids see him in San Diego as long as he was living with Ross. When Garvey and his parents showed up at the girls' T-ball game, Cyndy admits she shoved Millie Garvey. "I was getting my kids' lunch ready," Cyndy says. "And she spit on me."

Once Cyndy arrived at a Dodger Stadium luncheon honoring Garvey's mother and screamed obscenities at Steve for 20 minutes in front of club officials and reporters. She left only after security guards were summoned.

This year Cyndy, now Cynthia Truhan again, published The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey, written with Andy Meisler, in which she details a childhood of verbal and physical abuse by her father and takes a Cuisinart to Steve's halo:

•She wrote that Garvey mimicked her migraine headache symptoms to get out of the Army. Steve now says he had migraines off and on until he was 35 and "there's no way you can memorize them [the symptoms]. I may have asked her about them, wondering if I had the same thing she did." Even if the migraines were real, letters Garvey wrote to Cyndy in late 1970 from Fort Jackson, S.C., where he was stationed for basic training, do appear to support Cyndy's contention that Garvey was angling for a medical discharge. In one of the letters, he said, "Well, plan 'escape' is being plotted in the SPG 'Brain' center and it looks good! If I could get five good letters I think it will work!" Another letter said, "I also got to Dr. Woods and he is sending a letter for me concerning the mig. headaches. He said he would take care of me so let's hope so."

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