Bert Gardin was born in Marion, NC on March 17, 1891.
He began his minor league career in 1910 with the Spartanburg Spartans of the Carolina League (Class D). Early in the season he appeared in box scores for the Spartans, often playing in the outfield (Spartanburg Herald, May 10, 1910).
Several weeks into the season he was loaned to the Asheville Mountaineers. On June 20 the AC noted that “Gardner (Gardin) from Spartanburg is expected to join the team today.” He appeared in his first game on June 21 and struck out five in two innings of relief. (AC June 21). Two days later he pitched a shutout for the Mountaineers. (AC June 24).
On June 29 the Courier announced that Asheville’s manager had travelled to Spartanburg to see if the team could keep Gardin on their roster. Indeed, the paper reported that the request was successful and Gardin would remain a Mountaineer. The information was false, and on July 7 the Courier noted that Gardin had returned to Spartanburg since Asheville could not pay the asking price for the left-hander. He finished his rookie season with the Spartans and posted a fine 15-5 record.
Based on his success in Class D ball, he signed with Roanoke (Class C) in 1911 and pitched to a 12-8 record, and also logged playing time in the outfield. In 1912 he was 21-12 with Roanoke, the first of four consecutive seasons in which he won twenty or more games. Gardin continued his success with Roanoke in 1913 posting an impressive 27-12 mark. For 1914 he moved to Columbia (Class C) where his numbers fell slightly to 20-14. He started the 1915 season in Columbia, but after compiling a 12-13 record, Gardin finished the season in Portsmouth where he was 8-4. In 1916 he was 7-7 for Petersburg, and the following year he did not play professional baseball. Gardin returned to the minor leagues for Winston-Salem of the Class C Piedmont League in 1921, but after a season in which he was 8-7, he left the game for good.
Gardin’s decrease in wins suggests that he was overused. From 1912-1915 he threw 287, 332, 339.2, and 352 innings respectively (BR.com). In 1916 he threw only 128 innings, and it is safe to conclude that his arm was worn out. After a four-year hiatus from the game, he managed only 147.1 innings pitched in 1921, while still managing to bat .290.
Like a number of players in the T209 set, the pose on his Contentnea card is the same as his T210 Old Mill.
Gardin died January 11, 1946 in Greensboro, NC.