Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The DNR 25: #10 Curtis Granderson

The DNR 25 is a list of my personal favorite Detroit Tigers players of the past 25 years. If you’ve missed any so far and care to catch up, here’s the previous five.

#15: Lance Parrish
#14: Frank Tanana
#13: Placido Polanco
#12: Darrell Evans
#11: Tony Phillips

And we have (finally) reached the Top Ten.


Full Name
Curtis Granderson

DOB
3/16/81

College
University of Illinois at Chicago

Drafted
2002, 3rd Round, Detroit Tigers

MLB Seasons
2004-present

Tiger Seasons
2004-2009

Career Stats
.272 Avg, 102 HR, 299 RBI, .828 OPS, 113 OPS+

Career Leaderboard
2009 AL All-Star
2007: 10th in MVP voting
2007: 3rd in Runs (122)
2007: 1st in Triples (23)
2008: 2nd in Runs (112)
2008: 1st in Triples (13)

Best Tiger Season
If 2006 was the year the Tiger fans discovered Curtis Granderson, then 2007 was the year they fell in love with him. He hit .302 with 22 homers and 66 RBI. Add on to that the 38 doubles, 23 triples, and 26 stolen bases (in 27 attempts), and Curtis had put together a historic season. He became the third man in baseball history to have at least 20 doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases, joining Willie Mays (1957) and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte (1911). His OPS in ’07 was .913 and his OPS+ was 135. Tiger fans thought they had finally found their “franchise” home grown player they had lacked since Alan Trammell. Weird how things can change so quickly…

Little Known Fact
Curtis grew up as a fan of the Atlanta Braves.

Reason For Being On The List
The answer to this is simple. Curtis Granderson was a heck of a ballplayer for us and an even better person. In a world where it is difficult for me to point to a famous athlete and be sure that I can tell my son that “right there is a guy you can look up to”, I feel confident that I can say so about Grandy.

He has become an ambassador for the game, both in the US and overseas. Granderson has traveled to far off places like China, South Africa, and Italy to teach kids and make folks aware of the game he loves. As a direct result, Bud Selig wrote Granderson a letter that read in part, “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.” Amen.

We were lucky to have a guy like him in Detroit and I hope everyone enjoyed him as much as I did.

What Happened To Him?
Not sure. Let me know if you hear anything.

So, yeah, he’s a New York Yankee now. In the trade that made Detroit fans’ heads explode all over the country, Grandy was traded in the offseason to The Dark Side. He might end up being a left fielder for them. It’s doubtful that he’s going to be batting in the top half of the lineup anymore. And maybe it’s my natural bias against the New York fans, but I don’t think he is going to be appreciated half as much as he has for the past four years in Detroit.

It’s amazing that a guy impacted so many fans, both young and old, in only a few quick seasons, but Curtis Granderson accomplished that. I understand why the trade was made and I even supported it after it happened. The team comes first and baseball is a business. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I’m a Grandy fan for life and I wish him nothing but the best playing in Gothom and beyond.

Well, except for when he’s playing us. In that case, I hope the bastard strikes out every time up. And he probably will if there's a lefty on the mound. Harf...

Take care, Curtis. Thanks for letting us all be Grand Kids for a while.

Info ripped off of baseball-reference.com and Wikipedia.
Pics via Google.