Ron Gardenhire (born October 24, 1957 in Butzbach Hesse, West Germany) is a manager in Major League Baseball for the Minnesota Twins in the American League. He attended high school in Oklahoma and college at the University of Texas at Austin.
In his baseball career, he was six feet tall and weighed 175 pounds. He played five seasons of baseball with the New York Mets of the National League from 1981 to 1985. The Mets drafted him in the sixth round of the 1979 amateur draft. He was the first German-born player ever to play in the Major Leagues. In his career, he played shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman. During his career, he was often plagued by injuries, especially to his hamstring muscle. Only twice in his career, in 1982 and 1984, did he play over 70 games in the season.
For three years after he retired, he was a manager in the minor leagues. In 1991, Gardenhire joined the Twins as a third-base coach. On January 4, 2002, Gardenhire was named manager of the Twins, replacing Tom Kelly, who had won two World Series titles with the Twins. Compared to "TK"'s relatively calm, Bud Grant-like coaching style, Gardenhire is a very active and aggressive manager, frequently exiting the dugout to argue with the umpire, leading some to joke that "Gardy" gets ejected more times in a season than TK did in his entire career (as of May 2006, Gardenhire has been ejected 26 times in 3 and 1/3 seasons). A recent television commercial for the Twins pokes fun at this, showing Gardenhire arguing with a (presumably Twin Cities area) office worker planning to go home after work rather than go to the Twins game.