Minnesota Twins - No. 35
Shortstop / Manager
Born: (1957-10-24) October 24, 1957 (age 56), Butzbach, Hesse, West Germany
September 1, 1981 for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 1985 for the New York Mets
Career statistics, (through September 29, 2013)
Runs batted in
New York Mets (1981-1985),
Minnesota Twins (1991-2001),
Minnesota Twins (2002-present),
Career highlights and awards
World Series champion (1991),
AL Manager of the Year (2010),
Ronald Clyde "Gardy" Gardenhire (born October 24, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop for the New York Mets and current manager of the Minnesota Twins.
1 Early life,
2 Playing career,
3 Post-playing career
3.1 Twins manager,
6 External links,
Ron Gardenhire was born on a couch to a military family at the U.S. Army base in Butzbach, West Germany. Young Gardenhire expected to join the military, but his passion for baseball was also encouraged by his father. The family later settled in Oklahoma where he attended Okmulgee High School and college at the University of Texas at Austin.
He played five seasons of baseball in the National League with the New York Mets from 1981 to 1985. The Mets drafted him in the sixth round of the 1979 amateur draft. In his career, he played shortstop, second base, and third base. He was often plagued by injuries, especially to his hamstring. Only twice did he play in more than 70 games in a season, in 1982 and 1984. Following the 1986 season he was traded to the Minnesota Twins, where he played one season for their Triple-A affiliate before retiring.
He is six feet (183 cm) tall and weighed 175 (79 kg) pounds during most of his baseball career.
For three years after he retired (1988-90), he was a manager in the Minnesota farm system, leading teams in the Class A Midwest League and Class AA Southern League to one second- and two first-place finishes. In 1991, Gardenhire became the Twins' third base coach and held that post for 11 full seasons, including the team's 1991 World Series championship.
On January 4, 2002, Gardenhire was named manager of the Twins, replacing Tom Kelly, who had won two World Series titles with the Twins. In contrast to Kelly's relatively calm, Bud Grant-like coaching style, Gardenhire is a very active and aggressive manager, frequently exiting the dugout to argue with the umpire, leading some to joke that "Gardy" gets ejected more times in a season than Kelly did in his entire career (as of September 11, 2013, Gardenhire has been ejected 67 times). An early 2006 television commercial for the Twins pokes fun at this, showing Gardenhire arguing with an office worker planning to go home after work rather than go to the Twins game.
Gardenhire won the American League Manager of the Year Award (in 2010) and has finished as runner-up five times while leading the Twins (in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009). He finished third in the voting in 2002, his first season as manager. His five runner-up finishes are tied with Tony La Russa, who won the award outright an additional four times. In 2009, he received the Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award.
In twelve seasons as the Twins manager, Gardenhire's team has had a losing record four times (2007, 2011 2012, and 2013), and has won the division six times (the Twins lost a one-game playoff to the Chicago White Sox to determine the division champion at the end of the 2008 season). Despite all of the team's regular season success under Gardenhire, the Twins have advanced to the ALCS only once, and have not advanced to the World Series. In Gardenhire's tenure as the manager of the Twins, the Twins have posted a playoff record of 6 wins and 21 losses.
On November 13, 2008, Gardenhire signed a contract extension that kept him as Twins manager through the 2011 season. On November 18, 2010, the Twins announced a two-year contract extension for Gardenhire through 2013. In October 2012, after two consecutive 90 plus loss seasons, Gardenhire was not given a contract extension past the 2013 season. On September 30, 2013, despite having another 90 plus loss season for the third year in a row, Gardenhire was given a 2-year extension through 2015. He has 998 career wins at the end of the 2013 season.
Gardenhire is married to Carol (Kissling), who grew up in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and is a graduate of Mariner High School. The Gardenhires have 3 children: son, Toby (born September 8, 1982), and daughters, Tiffany (born March 18, 1985) and Tara (born March 22, 1990). Toby was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 41st round of the 2005 MLB Draft, spent most of his time as a utility player, and rose as high as the AAA Rochester Red Wings, before retiring. Like his father, Toby was known more for his glove than his bat. After hitting .188 in 50 games at Rochester in 2010, Toby posted a career line of .228/.293/.261 with only two home runs in 430 minor league games while seeing playing time at all nine defensive positions including 1 2/3 innings at pitcher. He currently is the head coach for the University of Wisconsin-Stout baseball team.