Sunday, February 25, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #62 Larry Gardner

William Lawrence "Larry" Gardner, 3B (1908-1917)

1123 G, 1106 H, 496 R, 87 3B, 16 HR, 481 RBI, .282 Avg, .347 OBP, .377 SLG

William Lawrence Gardner (Larry Gardner) was born May 13, 1886 in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. Larry attended the University of Vermont and indeed became the first player from that school to make it all the way to the American League. What better way for a New England native than to make your break in baseball with the Boston Red Sox. Larry made his Major League debut on June 25th, 1908. Interestingly, the great 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson made his debut the same year.

Larry was a third baseman for the Sox from 1908 to 1917. In his time in Boston in particular he was known for being a clutch hitter who rose to the occasion in big games. He finished his career with three World Series wins in all, two of those with the Red Sox.

Gardner's key career moment probably came in the famous tenth inning of the final game of 1912 World Series. Although it was two big errors that the Red Sox two extra outs to work with, it was Gardner who drove in Steve Yerkes with the winning run of the entire series.

He also played with both the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Indians (1919-1924). Larry would excel late in his career with the Indians, winning a World Series (his third) with them in 1920 and then going on to hit a career high .319 in 1921.

Larry played his final game in the majors on September 6, 1924. In his 17-season career, Larry Gardner posted a .289 batting average with 27 home runs and 929 RBI in 1922 games. It should be noted Larry played in the infamous 'dead ball' period, where the ball was literally much heavier and harder than it is now. His numbers were excellent for the time. After retiring from the league he returned to the University of Vermont as a baseball coach and athletic director.

Larry passed away March 11, 1976 in St.George, Vermont at the grand old age of 90. Larry Gardner was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000. I say life was pretty good to you if you got to play for the Boston Red Sox, lived to the age of ninety and were born and buried in the same state.

This Top 100 Red Sox of all time profile was written by Cormac Eklof @ ''I didn't know there was baseball in Ireland?!''


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I agree with you on this position, I actually ranked this Larry Gardner in the position number 61, but I had second thoughts and then I lowered him to the number 62 as you did

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