PELHAM, N.Y. -- Happy birthday to Pelham's Brett Gardner.
The Yankees outfielder, of Pelham, turns 33 today.
He was born Brett Michael Gardner on Aug. 24, 1983, in Holy Hill, S.C.
Gardner made his Major League Baseball debut with the Yankees in 2008 and was named an All-Star in 2015. He is currently the longest-tenured New York Yankee.
In 2003, Gardner attended walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at the College of Charleston. After the tryouts, coach John Pawlowski told the players that he would contact them if they made the team. Without hearing a word from the coach, Gardner came to the field the next day for the first official practice, wearing his high school uniform.
When Pawlowski asked Gardner why he was there, Gardner told him that he knew he was capable of playing at the Division I level. Pawlowski told Gardner that he could practice with the team, but if at any time if Pawlowski saw that Gardner wasn't capable, then he would be let go. Gardner was a three-year starter for the College of Charleston Cougars.
In 2004, he was chosen to the All-Southern Conference Team. On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut, batting lead-off and going 0 for 3 with a stolen base.
Gardner finished his rookie season playing 42 games batting .228 with 16 RBI and 13 stolen bases.
Gardner was named the Yankees' starting center fielder for the 2009 season on March 29, 2009, beating out Melky Cabrera for the position; although Cabrera would eventually replace Gardner as the starting center fielder.
Gardner played 108 games during the 2009 season batting .270 with 3 home runs, 23 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.
Gardner was also part of the Yankees postseason run, appearing in all but one of the Yankees postseason games and starting the final two games of the World Series, as the team won the World Series for the first time since 2000 by beating the Philadelphia Phillies.
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