Too much, too soon, too late: The strange case of Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey, young perfectionist.

Steve Garvey, too perfectionist for his own good.

Long before he became a baseball player whose perfectionism on the field or in his person gave him something of a reputation as a phony, Steve Garvey was given too much, too soon. Not accolades but responsibilities.

He was an only child who was forced by two working parents to come home from school and clean house, get dinner on the stove, and look out for his invalid grandmother (partially paralyzed in a freak accident), even having to help her go to the bathroom regularly.