Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner was just the 41st player in Yankees history to notch 1,000 career hits on Thursday night. But unlike Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez‘s milestone 3,000 hits, Gardner’s 1,00th didn’t come on a home run. Instead, it came on a base hit, which raised his batting average.
This season has already been a whirlwind for Gardner; he hit 11 home runs in the month of May alone, and is currently 11th in All-Star voting since Major League Baseball announced the first check-in results on Wednesday. But even though Gardner has been successful with power and driving in runs, he says his 1,000th career hit is special to him, mainly because of the team he plays for.
“I just take a lot of pride [in] being able to suit up every day,’’ Gardner said after the Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 12-2 at the Rogers Centre on Thursday night. “I’ve done it as a Yankee, and I take a lot of pride in that, too.’’
Gardner has always prided being a Yankee, but he never liked being the center of attention. Gardner’s milestone night was easily overshadowed by Gary Sanchez‘s two powerful home runs, as well as Aaron Hicks‘ six RBI night.
However, Gardner wouldn’t change anything. As long as he gets to contribute in the lineup, he’ll be happy not being the center of the Yankees universe.
But out of curiosity, what would be Gardner’s next milestone? Gardner would have to pass Tino Martinez on the Yankees all-time hits list; Martinez has 1,036 hits, and if Gardner keeps hitting the way he has, there’s no doubt he’ll pass Martinez with ease.