Former Blue Jay Curtis Granderson announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Friday morning after a 16-year career.
For some players, it doesn’t take very long at all before they endear themselves to a team and become a fan favourite. That’s what happened for Curtis Granderson during his brief stay in Toronto with the Blue Jays, and he’ll be remembered far longer than one would think with just 104 games with the team.
On Friday morning, Granderson took to social media to announce his retirement from Major League Baseball after a 16-year career that began back in 2004. He broke in with the Detroit Tigers where he spent the first six years of his career, and eventually landed with the New York Yankees, where he had his most productive seasons. He also played for the Mets, and later in his career he bounced around a bit, playing for the Dodgers, Brewers, Marlins, and of course the Blue Jays.
He finishes his MLB career with some pretty impressive numbers as well. His career slash line ends up at .249/.337/.459, and he hit 344 home runs, 346 doubles, and 937 RBI while being worth 47.3 bWAR over the span of his time in the big leagues.
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Just as he’s been in every spot of his career, Granderson was a fantastic veteran voice for the Blue Jays during his time in Toronto, and a great human being to have involved in the community. He’s a four-time winner of the “Marvin Miller, Man of the Year” award (2009, 2016, 2018, 2019) for his work with the MLB Player’s Association, a role that has earned him the respect of players and officials all across baseball. He also worked as an ambassador for MLB International, and once had commissioner Bud Selig write him a note that said, “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.”
As wonderful as all of that was, the most endearing part of Granderson’s work as a big leaguer probably came from the things he’s done for children’s charities, including his own, “The Grand Kids Foundation”, which helps raise money for inner-city youth. He’s also well known for digging into his own pockets and putting his money where his mouth is, making a notable donation of five million to the University of Illinois last year as well.
For the soon to be 39-year-old who hit just .183 last season in Miami, you can’t blame the man for accepting that “Father Time” has caught up to him, just as it has with every star before him. That said, baseball will miss Curtis Granderson, and hopefully he can enjoy his retirement, but quickly find his way back to the game. Regardless of how he’s tried to fit in over the years, he’s always made a positive impact, and it’s hard to let a good one like that get away.