Multimedia timeline: Ron Gardenhire's career in Minnesota

  • Updated: October 1, 2014 - 7:07 PM
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Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire works the infield during batting practice before at Kansas City in August.

Photo: Orlin Wagner, Associated Press - Ap

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Ron Gardenhire has been part of the Twins organization since 1986. Here's a look at the highlights and lowlights of his Minnesota years.

1986: After five seasons in the Mets organization, including one year as their starting shortstop, Gardenhire is traded to the Twins for a player to be named later. That player is a minor-league pitcher named Dominic Iasparro.

1987: Gardenhire competes for a utility infielder's spot with the Twins.He loses out to Al Newman, who was picked up in a trade from Montreal at the start of spring training. Another candidate for that job was Ron Washington, current manager of the Texas Rangers. Gardenhire played for the Twins' Class AAA team at Portland that season, batting .272 in 117 games.

1988: At age 30, Gardenhire is named manager of the Class A Kenosha Twins, who finished second with an 81-59 record.

1989-90: Promoted to Class AA Orlando, where he had winning record in both seasons. In 1989, he was named Best Manager in the Southern League by Baseball America and in 1990 the same publication named him the best managerial prospect in the minors.

1991-94: Named third-base coach of the Twins by Tom Kelly.

1995: Spent one season as Kelly's bench coach after rupturing his Achilles tendon during spring training.

1996-98: Returns to the field as the Twins first base coach.

1999-2001: Returns to coaching third base.

 

2002: Named 12th manager in Twins history on January 4. Gardenhire signs a two-year contract and leads the Twins to the AL Central title and the American League Championship Series, where they lose in five games to the Angels. He finished third in voting for AL Manager of the Year.

2003: Won the American League Central title for a second straight season and signed a two-year contract extension in October. The 2003 postseason became the Twins' string of postseason futility against the New York Yankees, who knocked the Twins out of the playoffs four times during Gardenhire's tenure.

 

2004: Became the fourth manager in major league history to start his career with three consecutive first place finishes, and the first in the American League since Ralph Houk of the Yankees in 1961, '62 and '63. Houk was a consultant to the Twins in 1987, hired mostly as an advisor to first-year manager Tom Kelly. Named co-manager of the year by The Sporting News.

2005: Even though it was the first year his Twins didn't qualify for the postseason, the Twins finished with an 83-79 record, making Gardenhire the first manager in team history to have four consecutive winning seasons.

2006: After a slow start in which they were eight games under .500 in early Junes, the Twins rallied to finish with Gardenhire's best record at 96-66. They clinched the division on the final day of the season by beating the White Sox, but were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Oakland. Gardenhire was ejected from eight games, tying a career single-season high.

2007: Gardenhire had his first losing season as a manager at any level as the Twins went 79-83. He was ejected from eight more games. One milestone: Gardenhire won his 500th career game on July 6 against the White Sox.

2008: Managed the Twins into Game 163, the one-game AL Central playoff in  which they lost 1-0 to the White Sox on a Jim Thome home run off Nick Blackburn.

2009: Managed the Twins into another Game 163, this time with better results when the Twins rallied to beat Detroit 6-5 in 12 innings in the final regular-season game played at the Metrodome. The Twins were swept by the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.

 

2010: Gardenhire was named Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America for the first time in his career and won the honor for the seciond time from The Sporting News. The Twins won the AL Central for the sixth (and final) time in his tenure, and were swept again by the Yankees, dropping Gardenhire's postseason managing record to 6-21. He also was ejected for the 50th time in his career.

2011: The lean years begin as the Twins lose a career-high 99 games under Gardenhire after many people predicted they would win another division title. The Twins had to win their last two games of the season to avoid losing 100 and they finished 32 games out of first place. Twins management talked aboiut the season as a "perfect storm" of troubles.

2012: The troubles continue as the Twins finish 66-96. The front office tells Gardenhire the coaching staff needs to be shaken up. Three coaches are fired, including longtime bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek.

2013: Another poor season as the Twins again go 66-96. After speculation about Gardenhire’s future, he is given a two-year contract.

2014: A fourth consecutive 90-loss season (70-92) leads to the Twins to making a change. Gardenhire, who earned his 1,000th victory April 5, finishes 1,068-1,039, 73 victories short of passing Kelly for most in Twins history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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