New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, a former College of Charleston standout and current Summerville resident, will join Rich "Goose" Gossage at the Charleston RiverDogs' 11th annual Hot Stove Banquet and Auction Jan. 30 in the Charleston Marriott Crystal Ballroom.
The Hot Stove Banquet is an annual event hosted by the RiverDogs. Proceeds from the Hot Stove Banquet benefit The Citadel, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern baseball programs, and MUSC's Storm Eye Institute, which is the RiverDogs' primary charity.
The reception begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person and include dinner, a table gift and autograph or photo opportunity with Gardner and Gossage. Tables of eight with preferred seating are available for $550.
A native of Holly Hill, Gardner in 2003 attended walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at the College of Charleston and became a three-year starter for the Cougars. In 2004, he was chosen to the All-Southern Conference team, and in 2005 his .447 batting average was third-best in the nation and his 122 hits tied for most in the country. He concluded his collegiate career as a third-team All-American and a two-time All-SoCon player.
Gardner made his Major League Baseball debut on June 30, 2008, with the Yankees and has remained with the Bronx Bombers. He was part of the 2009 World Series Championship team, and was the American League's co-leader in stolen bases while leading the league in triples two years later. On Sept. 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run in (old) Yankee Stadium history as a pinch- runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robinson Canó in the seventh inning of an eventual 7-3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles.