Veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson joined the Blue Jays this winter and has since been an immensely positive figure in the clubhouse.
Curtis Granderson, the likeably polished veteran outfielder, has just been named the Blue Jays’ nominee for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association Heart & Hustle Award, an honour given to individuals who “demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and traditions of the game”.
Playing in his 15th major league season, this is Granderson’s seventh team nomination, according to the MLBPAA website. Last year’s winner was New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.
Granderson, a native of Chicago, has been active in every community he’s been a part of, notably leading the Grand Kids Foundation, an organization that raises money to fund the educations of inner-city kids across the United States. A member of the MLBPA, Grandy was appropriately named the “friendliest man in baseball” by Sports Illustrated in 2011.
When asked about Grandy, Blue Jays skipper John Gibbons described him as “the real deal”, noting that he’s “been a great player for [the Blue Jays] and he’s just a class act”.
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For the season, Granderson has slashed .230/.337/.417 with nine home runs, 29 RBI and 15 doubles in 274 plate appearances across 81 games. Appearing primarily in left field, Grandy has struck out 81 times and has walked 35 times, entering play on Tuesday.
It’s not surprising to see the Blue Jays’ nomination go to Granderson. Known for his classiness on and off the field, Granderson has previously been honoured as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year on two occasions and was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016 as a member of the New York Mets.
Regardless of whether or not the veteran outfielder remains a Blue Jay for much longer, it has undoubtedly been a great experience watching him play ball for this team. A positive leader and a pretty useful bench bat, the “Grandy Man” has been fun to watch, both on and off the field.
Recently, Granderson has hit in the leadoff spot, earning the trust of his manager for his ability to consistently get on base and run the bases well.