Short Time Early Nineties Mets Infielder: Jeff Gardner (1991)
Jeffrey Scott Gardner was born February 4th,1964 in Newport Beach, California. The five foot eleven left hand hitting infielder, threw right handed & was signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent in 1984.
Gardner spent seven years in the minor leagues before ever reaching the majors. Gardner was the AAA Tidewater Tides second baseman from 1989 through 1991, under managers Mike Cubbage & Steve Swisher. He was scouted as having a good eye to draw walks & rarely striking out.After batting a minor league best .292 since his first year in pro ball, he was brought up to the Mets squad for a September 1991 call up.
On September 10th, 1991 he got the start at short stop as Kevin Elster got a day of rest. In that game the Mets Pete Shourek, beat the Montreal Expos 9-0. Gardner got his first career hit, a base hit off Mark Gardner, while drawing two walks. He hit safely in five straight games, then had just one other hit in his last eight games. Gardner saw action in 13 games as a New York Met going 6-37 (.162) with no extra base hits & one RBI.
That winter he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Steve Rosenberg who never played a game for the Mets at the big league level. Gardner only played in 15 games that year but in 1993 became the Padres main second baseman playing in 133 games (4th most in the NL) posting a .983 fielding %. He hit .262 with seven triples, 21 doubles. one HR & 24 RBIs.
At the end of the year he was released & got signed by the Montreal Expos where he played 18 games in 1994. He played in the minor leagues through 1995 before leaving baseball. In his career he played 186 games batting .246 with one HR 21 doubles 8 triples 53 walks & a .319 on base %.
Retirement: After his pitching days he became manager in the San Diego Padre system, then became an advanced scout in the early 2000's.