By Heidi Bittner
After 25 years of dealing with "some of the best writers and publications in the business," baseball great Steve Garvey has joined Sport as executive publisher.
Garvey, 45, retired from the major leagues in 1988 after 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and five with the San Diego Padres. In 1983, the first baseman launched Garvey Communications to help companies incorporate sports into their marketing strategies.
Garvey, who hit .294 lifetime, says he hopes to reenergize the staff and enhance the magazine's profile to challenge competitors such as Inside Sports and ports Illustrated .
The former player initially won't be involved much in the magazine's editorial decision making, although the job does encompass that area as well as the business side. For now, he'll concentrate on such marketing ploys as sweepstakes, ticket giveaways and attracting well-known guest columnists.
Sport's covers will be spruced up, as well. Along with a larger logo, Garvey says readers can look for more artistic cover photos. "My first cover features a close-up of [Dodger] Mike Piazza staring out from behind his catcher's mask."
Frank Deford , the Vanity Fair contributing editor who wrote about Garvey while at Sports Illustrated and Newsweek , says the new publisher "has done a good job of selling himself over the years, so selling the magazine is not that great a leap."
Despite the January 17 earthquake that rocked his first day on the job at Sport's Los Angeles offices, Garvey feels comfortable in his new position. "The staff perceives the company as going in a different direction by hiring me," he says. "Oftentimes you can just roll along, making a comfortable profit, but not growing."