Gardy joins elite company with milestone win
CLEVELAND -- A day after picking up career win No. 1,000 against the Indians on Saturday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was able to reflect on the accomplishment while sitting in the visiting manager's office at Progressive Field before Sunday's game.
Gardenhire said he was happy to finally reach the milestone, and appreciated the support he received from his players and coaching staff after the game. But he also said he's ready to move on and focus on the rest of the season, now that the milestone is behind him.
"I guess it's relief, because we want to move forward and play baseball," Gardenhire said. "It was a fun day yesterday to get a win against a good team and give our team a chance to win a series here. That thing has been hanging out there for a pretty long while. So the guys were excited and got to shake some hands, and now we can move forward and play some baseball and get on the right track."
Gardenhire said the club's public relations staff informed him that he was one of just 10 managers to accomplish 1,000 wins with just one team, and he thought it was cool that he followed in former Twins manager Tom Kelly's footsteps, as Kelly also was on that list of 10 managers that also includes six Hall of Famers.
"It's pretty amazing, to tell you the truth," Gardenhire said. "More than anything else, I'm with an organization that has given me this opportunity. There's not a lot of other organizations that do that through thick and thin. We've had some good years, but we've had some rough ones the last couple years, so you have to be lucky to have an organization that believes in you."
Gardenhire received more than 200 congratulatory texts, including messages from former Twins such as Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Joe Nathan, Jacque Jones and Johan Santana. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington also sent a text, which surprised Gardenhire.
"It was good to talk to a lot of people I hadn't heard from in a long time," Gardenhire said. "So it was cool."
But Gardenhire joked that he was upset he didn't receive anything from President Barack Obama.
"The president didn't call, so I was disappointed in that," Gardenhire said. "But I know Mr. Obama is a White Sox fan, so I didn't think he'd call me."