On December 6th, 2013, the New York Mets made the decision to sign Curtis Granderson from their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. In the four year, $60 million deal, the Mets were expecting to receive a slugging power hitter that would be their main power source over that period of time. What they in fact received would be more than they could ever ask for. It started right off the bat, when the lefty proclaimed that “A lot of the people I’ve met in New York have always said that true New Yorkers are Mets fans” during his introductory press conference.
From then on, Granderson would be as stable a player that the Mets would have. In his time as a Met, Granderson never played less than 150 games. That’s a stat that the current Mets roster and training staff should be staring at, mouths agape. Never one to complain, Granderson never bellyached over minute injuries, he simply showed up to work and did his job. Sometimes, he would do more than what should have been asked for him. At times, he struggled at the plate, noted for his inconsistencies and slow starts at the plate.
A quick glance at his stats over his three full seasons show that while he may have not been a first tier hitter for average, he was certainly there for power. Never stroking less than 24 home runs, Granderson constantly brought a threat to go deep to the plate. Possibly the most impressive part of that statistic is that Granderson produced power from the leadoff spot, stroking 33 from the top of the lineup in 2015. This is exactly why the Mets signed him in 2014, and he fulfilled any ideals of power hitting they had of him.
Granderson never ceased to hustle for a ball, or to stretch out a single on the base paths. This and his ability to play clutch baseball were values that he brought to the field that were immeasurable statistically. Whether it be his September 17, 2016 game against the Minnesota Twins, where he hit a solo home run to tie the game in the 11th inning, then another in the 12th to win it; or his leaping catch against the San Francisco Giants in the 2016 Wild Card game, Granderson has been there.
Beyond the field, Granderson was a true role model for not only his fellow teammates, but also his colleagues around the league. He was the 2016 recipient of the Roberto Clemente award for his various humanitarian efforts. An unbelievably class act, Granderson is dedicated to being as kind of a person as humanly possible. Now as a Los Angeles Dodger, he gets to honor a role model and legend to many.
As most people know, Jackie Robinson is widely known as the first player to break the color barrier for Major League Baseball. He did so with the then Brooklyn Dodgers, who ended up moving to Los Angeles. Robinson wore 42, and now no one is allowed to don that in his honor. Now, Granderson wears 6, or 4+2. Granderson was a great Met, and an even better person. Thank you Granderson, for giving the most you could give, and being the best you could be.