Dec 14, 2015

Former Mid Eighties Mets Pitcher Traded Away In The Bobby Ojeda Deal: Wes Gardner (1984-1985)

Wesley Brian Gardner was born on April 29th 1961 in Benton, Arizona. The six foot four right hander attended the University of Central Arkansas where he was later honored in the schools Hall of Fame. Gardner was drafted by the New York Mets in the 22nd round of the 1982 draft.

Gardner began his career at Little Falls in the New York Penn. League in 1982 where he went 3-6 with six saves. In 1983 he pitched at A ball Lynchburg, saving15 games going 6-3 with a 1.87 ERA. 

The next year he was promoted straight to AAA where in 40 games with the Tides he went 1-2 with twenty saves while posting a 1.61 ERA. 


Gardner was impressing the organization so much, he was brought up to the Mets staff in late July, just two years after he was drafted. Gardner made his debut on July 29th, at Shea Stadium finishing off the 9th inning of a Mets 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

On August 5th, Gardner got his first career win, it came in Pittsburgh, when George Foster drove the game winning run with a base hit in the top of the 10th inning. He would blow two late inning saves in the next two weeks, while holding the lead in two other games. On August 12th he earned a 2.1 inning save at Shea Stadium. 

Gardner would make 21 appearances for the second place '84 Mets, going 1-1 with a save, finishing 12 games posting a 6.39 ERA. 

He began 1985 at AAA Tidewater, but was called up to the Mets in late May. In his second appearance he was roughed up by the San Francisco Giants, for six runs in the 10th inning taking a loss. That outing got him right back to Tidewater but he did return in September. In just nine games with New York, he was 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA. That off season Gardner was sent to the Boston Red Sox along with Calvin Schiraldi, John Christensen & LaShelle Tarver in exchange for Bobby Ojeda, John Mitchell & Tom McCarthy.

Gardner spent all of 1986 in the minors, making just one big league appearance. He led the Sox with ten saves in 1987, going 3-6. The next year he made 18 starts seeing action in 36 games overall. He went 8-6 with a 3.50 ERA & two saves for the first place Red Sox. In the ALCS loss to the Oakland Athletics, he made one appearance, allowing three runs in the Game #3 loss.

Gardner followed with two 3-7 seasons in Boston, and finished his career in 1991 pitching in 15 combined games at San Diego & Kansas City. 

In an eight year career he was 18-30 with 14 saves, posting a 4.90 ERA, with 358 strike outs & 218 walks in 189 games.


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