From the quiet life of Holy Hill, South Carolina, Brett Gardner rose to become one of baseball’s most recognizable stars. Through dedication, discipline, and hard work, he has been able to play at the highest level of the game and earn a number of accolades that many young baseball-loving children all over America wish and hope to accomplish someday.
As his career enters into its twilight years, it is worth examining the journey and achievements that have ensured Brett Gardner will go down in American Baseball history.
Brett Gardner was born on the 24th of August 1983 in the South Carolinian town of Holly Hill. The young boy followed the path of his father, Jerry Gardner, who had played as an outfielder in the Minor League for the Philadelphia Phillies. Through his dad, he had an inspiration and a coach in the early stages of his aspirations to be a baseball player.
Brett played baseball for his high school team at Holly Hill Academy as well as at American Legion Baseball for St. George Post 105. Although he could not get an athletic scholarship, he still managed to play for the College of Charleston Cougars after attending a walk-on tryout. His dedication, talent, and enthusiasm secured him a place in the team where he excelled and proved to have a knack for the game.
Brett Gardner spent three years with the Cougars, recording a batting average of .397 at the end of his college career. This record allowed him to become the highest-drafted player in school history after the New York Yankees selected him in the third round with the 109th pick. A far cry from his start as a non-scholarship baseman.
Details of His Professional Career and What He Achieved
Brett Gardner spent his first few years as a professional in the Minor Leagues. From the 2005 season through to the 2008 season, he played for various minor league teams such as the Tampa Yankees, Trenton Thunder, and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
At the end of the 2008 season, having impressed with his performance in the minor leagues, Gardner was called up to the major leagues. He made his debut in June 2008, and although it wasn’t an exceptional season, he recorded a couple of significant accomplishments. One of them was scoring the final run of MLB in Yankee Stadium history, helping the Yankees to a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Brett Gardner has so far spent a total of 12 years with the Yankees, a time during which he recorded numerous personal achievements as well as a few other with the team. A year after he joined Major League Baseball, he was a part of the Yankees team that won the World Series in 2009. His best seasons throughout his time with the Yankees were in the years 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
On an individual note, Gardner has been named an MLB All-Star once in 2015, won the Gold Glove Award in 2016, and has been named AL Stolen base and AL triples leader in 2011 and 2013 respectively. At the end of the 2019 season, after posting a career-high of 28 home runs, he put pen to paper to resign with the New York outfit to become its current longest-tenured player. He has so far played over 1,500 games, starting more than 1,300 of them and recording a batting average of .260, 124 home runs, and 267 stolen bases.
His Career Earnings
Being one of the better players in Major League Baseball has made Brett Gardner a wealthy man. His first earnings as a professional player was a signing bonus of $210,000 in 2005. Following his return to MLB action after his stint in the minors, he signed a 1-year contract worth $414,000 in 2009. His earnings have since then continued to rise year after year, peaking in 2014 when his team went all out to sign him to a 4-year $52 million deal. This had him earning about $16 million a year.
At the expiration of that deal, Brett Gardner signed a 1-year contract extension worth $7.5 million. His latest deal with the Yankees is a $12.5 million deal that will see him remain with the team in 2020 with an option for the 2021 season. If he resigns for the 2021 season, he will reportedly receive an additional $10 million.
Brett Gardner’s high earnings have helped him to a personal net worth estimated to be around $25 million. Not bad for the 109th overall pick.
What We Know About Brett Gardner’s Wife – Jessica Clendenin
Brett Gardner’s marriage to Jessica Clendenin accentuates a successful professional life. The pair got married in December 2007 and have since been blessed with two children – Hunter and Miller Gardner.
Brett’s wife was born on the 4th of July 1984 in Georgia to father Thomas Clendenin and an unknown mother. She is one of three children of her parents with the other two being John and Joshua Clendenin. Not much is known of her educational or professional background, but she and her husband are actively involved in charity work, particularly with the Hooton Foundation.