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Monday, December 5, 2022

Mike Gardella's confidence improved watching big leaguers; Saw seven pro seasons, made AAA

Yankees farmhand Mike Gardella had made high-A the year before, his second pro season, so in March 1991, he told Gannett News Service of how he hoped for more.

"My confidence level is very high right now," Gardella told Gannett. "I watch big leaguers pitch and it's not a matter of stuff. I think my stuff is as good. But they've already done it and I haven't. That's the difference."

Gardella went on to play in five more seasons. He never got the chance to show his stuff in the bigs. He topped out at AAA.

Gardella's career began in 1989, taken by the Yankees in the 13th round of the draft out of Oklahoma State University.

Gardella started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. He went 2-0, with 19 saves and a 1.67 ERA in 28 games.

He then made high-A Prince William for 1990. He saved 30 games there and went 4-3, with a 2.01 ERA. For 1991, he made AA Albany-Colonie. He saved 11 games for Albany-Colonie in 53 appearances, with a 3.82 ERA.

Gardella lost some time early in 1991 with shoulder tendinitis, but returned to record his third save by early June, The Schenectady Daily Gazette wrote.

"It was a long, frustrating three weeks not pitching," Gardella told The Daily Gazette of his shoulder issues. "I tried to pitch through it, but we needed to just shut down. I just needed the rest."

In a spring 1992 feature, The New York Times spoke to Gardella's mother, Janet Gardella, about her son, including watching him pitch in a spring training game.

"We bleed for Mike, hoping he does well, because you know it's been his dream since he's been a kid," she told The Times. "And it's more intense for us because he's a pitcher. Everything is focused on him."

Gardella started 1992 back at Albany-Colonie. He then moved to the Indians mid-season and AA Canton-Akron.

He played at Canton-Akron again for most of 1993, before arriving with the Giants and AA Shreveport at year's end. He played at Shreveport again for 1994 and made AAA Phoenix for three outings in 1995 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,083
Made the Majors:1,353-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,730-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:551
10+ Seasons in the Minors:334

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