CLEVELAND — Ron Gardenhire won his 1,000th game as the Twins manager on Saturday as Minnesota defeated Cleveland 7-3 at Progressive Field.
Gardenhire, who is in his 13th season as manager, is the 10th in major league history to win 1,000 games with the same team. The win came in his 1,950th game.
After the game, Gardenhire was doused with champagne and presented the lineup card.
Players and members of the Twins staff were also wearing gray T-shirts that had "1000 wins … 67 ejections" on the front along with "And Still Counting" on the back.
Gardenhire aid the T-shirts were the idea of bullpen catcher Nate Dammann last September. They took on more significance on Saturday because the photo on the front is of Gardenhire getting ejected by the late umpire Wally Bell, who passed away due to a heart attack last October. Bell, who was an umpire in the majors for 21 years, was an Austintown, Ohio, native. Austinton is an hour drive south of Progressive Field.
â¨"It’s really heartwarming because Wally Bell’s on the front He’s a very, very dear friend of mine," Gardenhire said. "That means an awful lot to have that T-shirt with Wally on there. It’s also a pretty entertaining T-shirt. I didn’t know anything about them."
Gardenhire also becomes one of five active managers with 1,000 wins, joining San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,535), Los Angeles Angels Mike Scioscia (1,235), Baltimore’s Buck Showalter (1,165) and Cleveland’s Terry Francona (1,125). The last active manager to reach 1,000 before Gardenhire was Francona, who did it on July 23, 2011, with Boston.
It is Gardenhire’s 115th win against Cleveland, which is his fourth most against any team. Kansas City leads the list with 130 followed by Detroit (118) and the White Sox (117). Gardenhire will be honored on Wednesday during the Twins’ first homestand.
"It was a good win for us. Now we can move forward this year and get another 92 and get in the playoffs," Gardenhire said.
Said Francona of the accomplishment: "Gardy has been doing this for a long time. I wish it would have in the next series. He’s been good at what he does for a long time. I think that number indicates he’s getting old."
When someone remarked that Francona has over 1,000 wins too, he laughed and added
"I’m old. That’s why I didn’t say too many nice things about it."