Curtis Granderson is no stranger to New York, but after four seasons as a member of the New York Yankees, he will now see what the other side of town has to offer as the new left-fielder for the New York Mets. After a decade in the big-leagues, Granderson will get his first taste of the National League this season. He signed a four-year, $60 million contract to help David Wright try and get the Mets back to winning baseball.
The No. 1 focus for Granderson this season will be to stay on the field. He unfortunately had a devastating injury during Spring Training last year and was only able to play in just 61 games for the Yankees. Prior to that, he did have back-to-back 40-home run seasons with 100-plus RBIs. While Granderson is still capable of putting up solid numbers, the 40-home run mark may be a bit much for Met fans to expect. A more reasonable stat line could be 23 home runs, 75 RBIs and also be in the top-10 in the NL in doubles and triples.
While on the field Granderson is a three-time All-Star, he is also one of the best guys in the game off of the diamond which deserves just as much praise in a profile of his as anything else. In 2007, he established his Grand Kids Foundation which improves educational experiences for youths nationwide and provides opportunities for inner city kids. Something not found on the back of any baseball card is the fact that Granderson is the MLB spokesperson for The White House “Let’s Move” Anti-Obesity program in addition to being a MLB International Ambassador.
Recently, Granderson also donated $5 million to his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago, which will go toward renovations to the baseball complex and the brand new Curtis Granderson Stadium and Youth Academy. As camp opens, it is uncertain how exactly his four-year deal with the Mets will play out. But whether or not Granderson hits zero home runs or 50 this season, he is truly one of the good guys in the game that is easy to root for. Granderson is a player who gives back to the game and is providing an opportunity for kids to play ball. He also just may be the guy to help Wright and the Mets “right” the ship in the NL East.
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.