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A: When I was little.
After testifying for 90 minutes, she walked, head held high, over to where her mother sat at the defendant's table, put her head on Cyndy's shoulder and sobbed. Two weeks later the court ruled in Steve's favor, declaring Cyndy in contempt for violating a court order that gave Steve the right to see Krisha and Whitney. Cyndy was in handcuffs as she was led off to serve the first five days of a 130-day sentence. Now this was getting ridiculous. The hostess of the cable show, Motherworks, headed for the slammer? She was freed a day later, after her lawyers obtained a stay of execution, and on Nov. 1 the remainder of her sentence was suspended pending her compliance with the court's visitation order.
"He thinks he's won," Cyndy says. "But he has lost everything."
Not that there was much left to lose. After 17 years in major league baseball, Garvey says he is broke. The $10 million or so that he earned as a player is nowhere to be found, and he owes the government more than $500,000 in back taxes. His sports marketing firm, Garvey Marketing Group (GMG), which until recently had space in a San Diego office complex, now operates out of his home. He owes his former landlord $172,000 in rent. He has sold his white BMW and his Deer Valley condominium, and he has cashed in two life insurance policies to pay bills. He makes $9,300 a month as host of the radio talk show, but he owes more than half that amount in monthly child support and alimony payments.
For several years GMG has been in the business of staging charity sports events under the tax-exempt umbrella of the Steve Garvey Foundation. Tax forms filed by the foundation with the California attorney general's Registry of Charitable Trusts for the years ending Jan. 31, 1987, '88 and '89 reveal some remarkably unsuccessful fund-raising. For instance, at the '87 Steve Garvey Celebrity Ski Classic in Deer Valley, an auction was held to benefit Utah Special Olympics. Several big-ticket items—two pairs of American Airline tickets to anywhere, Rossignol skis, Fila skiwear, and several weekends at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley, all of them donated—were sold to the highest bidders. The total revenue from the auction, as reported to the IRS on the foundation's Form 990 for the period from Feb. 1, 1986, to Jan. 31. 1987, was $4,315. After expenses of $3,119 had been deducted, all that was left was $1,196.
"Utah Special Olympics ran the auction and kept the money," says Jim Harper, who is Garvey's accountant and the chief financial officer of the Steve Garvey Foundation. "The revenue [reported) didn't include income from the auction." Nevertheless, line 9a of Part I of the foundation's Form 990 says, alongside Gross Revenue, "AUCTION $4,315" plain as day. Jim Murphy, executive director of Utah Special Olympics from 1984 to '87, who helped supervise the auction, says, "The majority of people wrote checks to the Steve Garvey Foundation.... For the most part all the money went through their books."
Between Jan. 1, 1987, and Jan. 31,'88, GMG organized five charity events—two celebrity golf tournaments, two celebrity ski events and a party/golf extravaganza at Super Bowl XXII in San Diego. The total amount of money raised by all these events, according again to the foundation's Form 990, was $174,790. The expenses incurred in raising that money were $150,076. That left net proceeds of $24,714, of which $13,763 had been donated to charities by the end of '88. "I've seen more money raised [for charity] at backyard carnivals," said a former Garvey associate.
What Garvey has become in the American hurly-burly is everything he never wanted to be: a divorced husband, an unloved father, an unadmired teammate, a sinning Christian, a lying man of honor, a failed businessman, a control freak out of control. Not very responsible. Not very tidy.
Maybe somewhere along the line Garvey figured out that 1950s ethics don't make it in '80s America. Maybe trying to stay above it all isn't worth it. Maybe nobody's wings are that strong. Or maybe it's just that nobody trusts a baseball player with a uniform that clean.
Says Garvey, "I guess I make people mad. There's an inherent skepticism in the world.... I was an idealist. I thought. 'I'll go out and help everyone. Why wouldn't they like me?' When I signed with the Dodgers, I was sure that was the only team I'd ever play for. When I got married, I was sure it would be to one woman the rest of my life...."