Michael James Gardiner
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 200 lb.
- School Indiana State University
- High School Sarnia Collegiate High School
- Debut September 8, 1990
- Final Game July 2, 1995
- Born October 19, 1965 in Sarnia, ON CAN
Pitcher Mike Gardiner was signed by the Seattle Mariners and scout Tom Mooney as an 18th round pick in the 1987 amateur draft. He had played for Team Canada in the 1984 Olympics and 1985 Intercontinental Cup.
Mike was named the 1990 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. He led the league with 180 innings pitched and 149 strikeouts, to go along with a 12-8 record and a 1.90 ERA. He was rewarded by the Mariners with a September call-up. He made his Major League debut on September 8th. In 5 games at the big league level he pitched 12 2/3 innings and had a 10.66 ERA with 2 losses. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Rob Murphy following the season.
Gardiner spent two seasons in the Red Sox starting rotation with limited success, going 9-10 in 1991 and 4-10 in 1992. His ERAs were quite high both seasons, 4.85 and 4.75, although his peripheral statistics were good, including a low hit rate and a lot of strikeouts. After the 1992 season, he was traded to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Ivan Calderon. The Expos expected a break-out year from the young Canadian, but he failed to crack their starting rotation in 1993. He pitched 24 games in relief with a 5.21 ERA before earning his release on August 22nd. He was picked up by the Detroit Tigers, for whom he pitched better the rest of the season. He was 2-2, 4.14 (117 ERA+) with 5 saves for the Tigers as a reliever in 1994, by far his best season in the majors. That season was interrupted by the strike, and when play resumed in 1995, Gardiner had completely lost his stuff. He gave up 27 hits in 12 1/3 innings leading to an astronomical ERA of 14.59 and was released at the end of the season.