Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brett Gardner: Batting his Way up the Yankee Line-Up

By Marissa Grieco

Brett Gardner has always been the underdog--whether he was playing in college or starting out as a rookie on the New York Yankees.  Gardner is 5’10, weighing 185 pounds.  He was born on August 24, 1983 in Holy Hill, South Carolina.  Most people do not know this about Brett Gardner: he had to overcome a big obstacle that most college kids would not have been able to do; he did not make his college team.

“In 2003, Gardner attended walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at the College of Charleston.  After the tryouts, Coach John Pawlowski told the players that he would contact them if they made the team. Without hearing a word from the coach, Gardner came to the field the next day for the first official practice, wearing his high school uniform,”  according to a Wikipedia account. Gardner had the confidence in himself that he was good enough to play Division 1 baseball for the College of Charleston.  He knew that if he worked hard enough, he would prove himself worthy.  Coach Pawlowski allowed Gardner to practice with the team. 

After this, Gardner became a three-year starter for his college team.  He led the Southern Conference with 85 runs--the all- time record at the College of Charleston--and 38 stolen bases in 2005.  It is truly amazing to think that someone who was not even contacted to be on the team holds the college’s all-time record for the most runs.  It is amazing what type of a person Brett Gardner truly is because he never gave up.  If he had given up, he would never be the star outfielder that he is today.

Gardner had to work his way up in the Yankee line-up; not an easy task to accomplish.  In 2009, Gardner was only making $414,000; which is nothing compared to what other major league baseball players make. Now, in 2014, Gardner is making $5,600,000 per year.  He now has a career average of .265 and an on base percentage of .346.  Judging from these statistics, Gardner knows how to work a walk. 

On October 7, 2014 there was an article written about Gardner on that insults him as well as compliments him.  The writer starts with the statement, “Brett Gardner  is the Yankees’ best hitter.” I would just so happen to agree with that statement; especially since Derek Jeter is now retired.  The writer goes on saying, “The above is probably not a phrase you ever thought you'd read about Gardner, who's known more for the gritty, gutty label that's been attached to him throughout his career than as an offensive force.”

Gardner has had to work extremely hard throughout his entire life to be where he is today.  He has always been criticized; especially all throughout his career as a New York Yankee.  People never thought that Brett Gardner would have much impact on the Yankees’ offense as he would their defense; he has proven those people wrong.  I can truly say that I was a Brett Gardner fan since the day he was signed to the Yankees.  No one really knows what’s in store for the Yankees next season.  All I know is I believe that Brett Gardner will lead them.

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