As the retirement of Curtis Granderson spread on social media, it made me happy to see how much support Curtis received. As a Detroit Tigers fan I watched nearly every game he played from 2005-2009. The thing that stuck out the most to me was, Curtis was always smiling. It didn’t matter if he was 4 for 4 or 0 for 4, you couldn’t tell because every inning he would run to centerfield smiling ear to ear. That kind of behavior was very contagious and impressionable. That was probably one of the main reasons why fans of all ages would answer the question of “Who’s your Tiger?” with Curtis Granderson.
He was a key component to the Tigers turning things around and reaching the World Series in 2006. While that is a major accomplishment, the actions of Curtis is what continued to impress me. In 2007 Granderson established the Grand Kids Foundation with a goal of promoting positive youth development via education, fitness, and nutrition. His charitable efforts became staples on the game broadcasts as it seemed like every week or so we would get new video of what he was doing in the local community.
Even after being traded to the New York Yankees after the 2009 season, you would still find Grandersons name in the news around the Detroit area. These continued efforts ultimately lead to Granderson receiving the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016. His actions also led to a thank you letter penned by Bud Selig that stated “There are so many fine young men playing Major League baseball today, but I can think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you.”
With all that said, I would just like to say “Thank You” to Curtis Granderson for playing the game you love, the way you wanted to play it. There are not many players that appeared as happy as you playing baseball. Thank You for all of your efforts to grow the great game of baseball and being an ambassador for this great game. And finally, Thank You for all you do in the community to make the world a better place. Enjoy retirement and as always have fun.
Photo: Detroit Tigers’ Curtis Granderson in 2009.ERIC SEALS, DETROIT FREE PRESS