Ron Gardenhire

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Ron Gardenhire
Ron Gardenhire 2013.jpg
Gardenhire with the Minnesota Twins
Detroit Tigers – No. 15
Shortstop / Manager / Coach
Born: (1957-10-24) October 24, 1957 (age 62)
Butzbach, Hessen, West Germany
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 1, 1981, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 1985, for the New York Mets
MLB statistics
(through June 13, 2017)
Batting average.232
Home runs4
Runs batted in49
Managerial record1,179–1,251
Winning %.485
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Ronald Clyde Gardenhire (born October 24, 1957) is an American professional baseball player, coach, and current manager for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played as a shortstop for the New York Mets from 1981 through 1985. He managed the Minnesota Twins from 2002 through 2014. He served as a coach for the Twins from 1991 through 2001, and for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017. He won the American League Manager of the Year Award in 2010.

Early life[edit]

Ron Gardenhire was born on a couch[1] 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.[2] The family later settled in Oklahoma where he attended Okmulgee High School and college at the University of Texas at Austin.

Playing career[edit]

The New York Mets drafted him in the sixth round of the 1979 amateur draft. He played for the Mets for five seasons from 1981 to 1985. 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 was six feet (183 cm) tall, and weighed 175 (79 kg) pounds during most of his baseball career.

Managerial career[edit]

Minor leagues[edit]

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.

Minnesota Twins[edit]

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 was a very active and aggressive manager, frequently exiting the dugout to argue with the umpire, leading some to joke that "Gardy" got ejected more times in a season than Kelly did in his entire career. In his 13 seasons managing the Twins, Gardenhire was ejected 73 times.[3] 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 in 2006

Gardenhire won the American League Manager of the Year Award in 2010[4] 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.[5] In 2009, he received the Chuck Tanner Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award.

In thirteen seasons as the Twins manager, Gardenhire's team had a losing record five times (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014), and 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 advanced to the ALCS only once–his first season, in 2002–and did not advance to the World Series. In Gardenhire's tenure as the manager of the Twins, the Twins posted a playoff record of 6 wins and 21 losses. He is the only manager in MLB history to take a team to the playoffs at least six times and never make it to the World Series, and only one of four with at least four playoff appearances to never appear in it.[6]

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.[7] 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 had 998 career wins at the end of the 2013 season.

Gardenhire earned his 1,000th managerial victory on April 5, 2014 with a 7-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. He became the 60th manager in major league history to top one thousand wins. He is only the tenth manager to accomplish this feat with only one team, joining the Twins' previous manager, Tom Kelly, on that list.[8]

On September 29, 2014, Gardenhire was fired after 13 seasons as Twins manager and 27 years in the Twins organization.[9] The last four years of Gardenhire's tenure were the worst in Twins history.[10] This includes 383 losses and a record of 78-148 from August 1 to the end of the season.[10] His overall regular season record was 1,068–1,039 and his playoff record was 6–21.[11][12]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

On October 20, 2017, it was announced that Gardenhire had signed a three-year contract to take the helm as manager of the Detroit Tigers, beginning in the 2018 season. He succeeded Brad Ausmus, who posted a 314–332 record in four seasons.[13]

In his first game as the Tigers' manager, Gardenhire was ejected after what initially appeared to be a walk off win in the 10th inning over the Pittsburgh Pirates was overturned on video review. The Tigers would end up losing to the Pirates 13-10 in 13 innings. [14]

Managerial record[edit]

As of games played on June 1, 2019.
Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
G W L Win % G W L Win %
Minnesota Twins 2002 2014 2107 1068 1039 .507 27 6 21 .222
Detroit Tigers 2018 present 323 111 212 .344 0 0 0
Total 2330 1179 1251 .485 27 6 21 .222

Coaching career[edit]

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.

Gardenhire began the 2017 season as the bench coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, after the first seven games of the season, he left the team on a leave of absence to have and recover from prostate cancer surgery. He was replaced by Jerry Narron, who took over as interim bench coach.[15] After a five-week absence, Gardenhire rejoined the Diamondbacks in May.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Gardenhire is married to Carol (née Kissling). The Gardenhires have three children: son Toby, and daughters Tiffany and Tara.[17]

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.[18] 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. After a stint as the head coach for the University of Wisconsin-Stout baseball team[19] he became manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Twins farm system.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gardenhire is the Twins’ steady hand",, Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  2. ^ "Gardenhire's calm comes from father",, Retrieved on October 3, 2010.
  3. ^ "Ron Gardenhire", Ron, Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "Twins Gardenhire voted AL's top manager",, Retrieved on November 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "Manager of Year eludes Gardenhire",, Retrieved on July 2, 2008.
  6. ^ "MLB Managers".
  7. ^ "Gardenhire wins award, set for contract extension",, Retrieved on November 20, 2010.
  8. ^ "Twins vs. Indians - Game Recap - April 5, 2014".
  9. ^ Brackin, Dennis (September 29, 2014). "Ron Gardenhire out as Twins manager". Minnesota Star Tribune. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Twins Fire Manager Ron Gardenhire After 13 Seasons". New York Times. The Associated Press. September 29, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Ron Gardenhire". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  12. ^ "Tigers' Ron Gardenhire back in Minnesota: 'Always loved this place'". ESPN. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  13. ^ Beck, Jason (October 20, 2017). "Tigers, Gardenhire finalize skipper's 3-year deal".
  14. ^ "Manager ejected in Tigers debut after replay erases walk-off". New York Post. March 30, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2019.
  15. ^ Nightengale, Bob (April 9, 2017). "As Diamondbacks go on without him, Ron Gardenhire readies for cancer fight". USA Today Sports. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  16. ^ McManaman, Bob (May 18, 2017). "Ron Gardenhire back where he belongs - in the dugout as Diamondbacks' bench coach". azcentral. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  17. ^ "Coach Bio". MLB Advanced Media, LP. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  18. ^ "Manager and Coaches". Minnesota Twins.
  19. ^ "University of Wisconsin-Stout - 2015 Baseball Coaching Staff".
  20. ^

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Rick Renick
Minnesota Twins third base coach
Succeeded by
Scott Ullger
Preceded by
Minnesota Twins bench coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jerry White
Minnesota Twins first base coach
Succeeded by
Jerry White
Preceded by
Scott Ullger
Minnesota Twins third base coach
Succeeded by
Al Newman
Preceded by
Glenn Sherlock
Arizona Diamondbacks bench coach
Succeeded by
Jerry Narron