Former Dodgers first baseman and Tampa native Steve Garvey, a 10-time All-Star and 1974 National League MVP, is battling prostate cancer.
Garvey told the Los Angeles Times that his prostate was removed at UCLA Medical Center in October after his cancer was diagnosed the previous month. He now hopes to devote a considerable amount of his time to prostate cancer awareness.
Garvey, 64, made the announcement in a news release describing several personal baseball items in his 19-year career — including his MVP trophy — that he is putting up for auction. He said 70 percent of the proceeds would go toward prostate cancer awareness.
"I was thrown a pretty good curveball by God," Garvey told the newspaper. "I felt I was being challenged to work for prostate awareness for men and the women who love them."
He said his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 64 but after treatment lived to be 83. Garvey said he has been on the UCLA board of neurology for eight or nine years where he knew urology department chairman Dr. Mark Litwin, who performed his operation.
Garvey said he couldn't declare that he was out of the woods yet with his cancer, "but you want to be cautiously optimistic."
Garvey, who was a star at Chamberlain High, was a beloved figure during 14 seasons with the Dodgers and, along with Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, part of one of the most enduring infields in baseball history.
GIANTS, BRAIN TRUST IN TALKS: Team president Larry Baer told the San Francisco Chronicle that he's talking with general manager Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy about extending their contracts, which now run through 2014.
SOCK SOLD: A bloody sock worn by Curt Schilling while pitching for the Red Sox in Game 2 of the 2004 World Series against the Cardinals was sold for $92,613 to an anonymous buyer at a live auction at New York's Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion. Schilling had loaned his sock to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, but when his Rhode Island video game company 38 Studios went bankrupt, he decided to sell the sock that was bloodied as he pitched on an injured ankle.
CARDINALS: Shortstop Rafael Furcal was given an anti-inflammatory injection because of lingering pain in his right (throwing) elbow.
CUBS: Third baseman Ian Stewart is expected to miss 10-14 days after an MRI exam revealed a mild to moderate strain of his left quad.
INDIANS: Outfielder Ryan Raburn, the former Durant High standout, homered twice against the Reds and has three homers in three at-bats this spring in his bid to make the team as a backup.
MARLINS: Catcher Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone when he was hit by a foul tip and is expected to be out about six weeks and begin the regular season on the disabled list.
PIRATES: Cuban right-hander Jose Contreras, 41, agreed to a minor-league contract and is expected to report to camp today.
RANGERS: DH Lance Berkman, who has been held back with a strained right calf, ran the bases and could be cleared for games soon.
RED SOX: Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who last week suffered a minor right hamstring strain during a fielding drill, reportedly felt good after throwing 37 pitches in a two-inning simulated game.
ROCKIES: All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who didn't play after May 30 because of a groin injury, had an RBI grounder in his first at-bat of spring training then singled the next time up.