Steve Garvey: How the baseball player became California's top candidate

In the heavily Democratic state of California, Republican Steve Garvey beat the odds and advanced to the November general election where he will face off with prominent Democrat Adam Schiff

Garvey quickly jumped to the lead, with 34% of votes in the partial-term election and 32% in the full-term election. 

Schiff gained 30% in the partial-term and 33% in the full-term.

Katie Porter, who some political experts believed would have advanced to the general election, fell far behind in the polls, with just 16% in the partial-term election and 13% in the full-term.  

RELATED: Adam Schiff and Steve Garvey to face off for California US Senate seat

Garevy said he is a "new voice with fresh ideas," and is "running for all the people." 

What makes Garvey stand out, other than being a Republican in a highly Democratic-filled race, is that Garvey is not a career politician… he is a baseball player. 

Garvey played first base for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres from 1969 to 1987, was a 10-time All-Star, National League Most Valuable Player in 1974, and National League Championship Series MVP in 1978 and 1984. Garvey was part of the Dodgers when they won four National League pennants and one World Series championship in 1981.

"It ain't over till it's over. We got to the starting line. And you all know that quote is true in baseball, and it's true in politics. My opponent has been advertising that he wants me, and he's mistaking kindness for weakness. Remember that old saying, be careful what you ask for. He's like the pitcher that throws me 70 mph fastballs and then watches me run around the bases," Garvey said chuckling during his victory speech Tuesday night in Palm Desert. 

Recently, Schiff's campaign released ads featuring Garvey as a "leading candidate." Experts said the strategy of the ad was that if Garvey advanced in the primary, Schiff would have an easier time beating him rather than another Democrat. And it appears the strategy worked in Garvey's favor. 

"When I stepped on the field for the Dodgers and the Padres, I didn't play for Democrats or Republicans or Independents. I played for all the fans. And tonight I'm running for all the people."

"If you believe that our wide open border has been a humanitarian and national security catastrophe, then join our campaign. If you're struggling to pay bills at your kitchen table and only buying $10 of gas instead of 10 gallons, then come join us. If you're embarrassed for the state and federal government's failure to address the heartbreaking and endless fight of the homeless, come join our campaign. If you're frightened by the brazen crime that runs rampant in our cities because of those who have turned their back on our police, then join our campaign," Garvey exclaimed during his victory speech. 

Still, even with Garvey on the November ballot, he faces a number of obstacles. California hasn’t elected a Republican candidate for Senate since 1988 and registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the state by a 2-to-1 margin, and Democrats hold every statewide office and dominate the Legislature and congressional delegation.