"I met with several different children, probably 15 or 20, and one little girl, she gave me a bracelet," Gardner said of his pregame trip to Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital at New York Presbyterian yesterday, before he went out and played a huge role -- including delivering an inside the park home run -- in the Yanks' 5-4 win over the Twins. "I asked what it was for and she said it was for me and she told me that if I kept it I would hit a home run and she said I'd hit a home run tonight."
He kept the gift in his locker. He hit a home run. He did lots more. He met so many kids, he doesn't remember the little girl's name -- but he remembers her face. And he'll always remember last night.
This girl clearly does not have access to Baseball-Reference in her room. It took Gardner 222 Major League plate appearances to hit his first home run and two games later, when he wasn't even in the starting line-up, he rips around the bases for an inside-the-parker, which single-handedly brought the crowd back into the game. What are the odds?
I don't think anyone thought it was a good thing when Johnny Damon got ejected, but stepping into the #2 spot, Gardner singled in the fifth, hit the inside the park home run in the seventh and tripled to lead off the ninth. Not a bad night to catch a game in the Bronx.