|Born: May 13, 1886|
Enosburg Falls, Vermont
|Died: March 11, 1976 (aged 89)|
St. George, Vermont
|June 25, 1908, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 6, 1924, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||934|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Lawrence Gardner (May 13, 1886 - March 11, 1976) was a third baseman in Major League Baseball. From 1908 through 1924, Gardner played for the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, and Cleveland Indians. He was a four-time World Series champion.
Gardner was born in Enosburg, Vermont and attended Enosburg High School. He began playing baseball in the Franklin County League and attended the University of Vermont where he played baseball for three years. He was the first player out of the University of Vermont to play in the American League. Gardner was signed by the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1908, and played his first professional game on June 25, 1908.
He played most of his prime in the dead-ball era, as the third baseman on several successful Red Sox teams. He helped the Red Sox to victories in the 1912, 1915, and 1916 World Series. He led Boston with 5 RBIs in the 1912 Series and hit his team's only home run. In the famous 10th inning of the final game, the same inning that included Fred Snodgrass and Chief Meyers making critical fielding mistakes and giving the Red Sox two extra outs to work with, it was Gardner who drove in Steve Yerkes with the series-winning sacrifice fly. Gardner homered in consecutive games of the '16 Series, including a three-run inside-the-park homer in Game 4. The two home runs matched his regular season total.
Gardner played a key role on the pennant-winning 1920 Indians, leading the team in RBIs (118) as well as games played (154) and at-bats (597). He went 5-for-24 in the 1920 World Series, which Cleveland won, 5 games to 2. Gardner was on the winning side in all four of his World Series appearances. Gardner batted only .198 (17-for-86) in 25 World Series games but did score 9 runs, with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 13 RBI and 4 walks.
His best season was 1921, when he achieved career-highs in batting average (.319), RBIs (120), runs scored (101), and hits (187).
Gardner died on March 11, 1976 in St. George, Vermont.
In its December 27, 1989 issue commemorating the millennium, Sports Illustrated named Gardner as one of the Top 50 Vermont athletes of the 20th Century. Gardner was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2012 Gardner was inducted into the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame.