Outfielder Brett Gardner Transforming Into Face of the Yankees
No. 11 is a fan favorite in the Bronx.
With New York Yankees former shortstop and face of the franchise Derek Jeter lost to retirement, outfielder Brett Gardner is turning into the new face of the Yankees.
In 2014, Gardner signed a four-year contract extension worth $52 million. A year later the 31-year old is named an All-Star following a leg injury to Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. Gardner, who was up for the All-Star game Final Vote, will be replacing Gordon on the team as Gardner, the Yankees and Yankee fans found out in the fourth inning on Thursday’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
Gardner was not at all interested in self-promoting himself in the Final Vote election as he told reporters on Tuesday that he just wanted to help the Yankees win.
“That’s just not me,” Gardner said to reporters. “I’m more of a low-key guy. I don’t even have a Twitter account.”
Jeter didn’t either.
The Yankee outfielder had three hits on Thursday including his 10th home run, to help the Yankees defeat the A’s 6-2 and take two out-of-three in the series. Gardner has been very important for the Yankees this season especially with the loss of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury who returned on Wednesday.
Gardner is hitting .303 with 10 home runs, 40 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases so far this year, but has been fantastic defensively as well as the star outfielder is yet to commit an error. Arguably the Yankees first half Most Valuable Player, Gardner has been a consistent bat atop the Yankee lineup since 2008 and has emerged as a superstar not only in New York, but throughout Major League Baseball.
Gardner’s hard work and hustle have gained him respect in the Yankee clubhouse as well as throughout the league. From being a walk-on at the College of Charleston, where he ranked third in the nation in batting average in 2005, to winning a World Series in 2009 to now appearing in his first MLB All Star Game, he certainly has accomplished quite a bit.
“I was surprised,” Gardner said to reporters. “Definitely an exciting moment for me and just honored to represent the Yankees.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was also very happy for his outfielder.
“It’s great, I’m really happy for him,” Girardi told reporters after the game. “He’s so important for this team, and I really believe he deserved to go.”
“I think what matters is I get to go,” Gardner said. “It’ll be a moment that I’ll definitely cherish.”
Gardner is undoubtedly a fan favorite in New York, and will now be playing on one of the game’s biggest stages, in the Midsummer Classic.
Gardner might not be the next Jeter, but with hard work and hustle, the Yankee outfielder has transformed his No. 11 into a fan favorite in the Bronx.
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