Monday, March 15, 2010

Curtis Granderson - My new favorite Yankee outfielder

Curtis Granderson, who turns 29 tomorrow, may be new to the Yankees, but he's already becoming one of my very favorite players. Of course, he got a head start on my admiration; last year, he was a blogger for Big League Stew, one of my very favorite sites!

Anyhow, I was lucky enought to get advance copies of two publications Granderson is featured in this month - Success Magazine and USA Today's Yankees Yearbook. Success has a nice interview with Granderson, while USA Today features the player on the cover shot, and an article about him (the whole magazine is worth reading, especially the looks ahead at 2010, but the cover pic of Granderson is epic!) 

Here are some tidbits from the Success Magazine interview:
  • Granderson has a bachelor's degree in both busness marketing and business management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He finished his last year of college on the road, while coming up through the minor league system.
  • Both his parents are school teachers in Chicagoland, and Granderson emphasizes the importance of education in his Grand Kids Foundation. He tells the magazine, "Be smart, and you can still live your dreams."
  • The player is trying to get more African-American youth involved with baseball. "It's a difficult issue partly because baseball is an expensive sport," Granderson says. "So that's one of the things that we are trying to do: cut that cost by providing equipment" to kids.
  • To that end, instead of making money on his "endorsement deals with Nike, Louisville Slugger and Rawlings, Granderson declined a paycheck and asked them to either give money to his foundation or donate equipment to inner-city baseball programs."
  • He also, not long after being traded to the Yankees, arranged to speak with NYC high schoolers via conference call to talk about the importance of education.
It's always nice to see a player who embraces being a role model. Here's hoping Granderson has a grand season for the Yankees!

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