Curtis Granderson

Curtis Granderson Jr. (born March 16, 1981) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Milwaukee Brewers.

Granderson played college baseball at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and was selected by the Tigers in the 2002 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2004, and signed a contract extension with Detroit in 2008. After the 2009 season, he was traded to the Yankees. After his contract expired following the 2013 season, he signed a four-year contract with the Mets. In the final season of the contract, the Mets traded him to the Dodgers. Granderson signed with the Blue Jays for the 2018 season.

Granderson is a three-time MLB All-Star, and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2011. Off the field, Granderson is recognized for his commitment to the community through outreach and charity work.[1] Many of his charitable endeavors support inner-city children. He has also served as an ambassador for MLB abroad. Granderson has won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award three times and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016 in recognition of his contributions in the community.

Curtis Granderson
Curtis Granderson (32800158037) (cropped)
Granderson with the Miami Marlins in 2019
Miami Marlins – No. 21
Outfielder
Born: March 16, 1981 (age 38)
Blue Island, Illinois
Bats: Left Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 13, 2004, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
(through July 12, 2019)
Batting average.250
Hits1,783
Home runs340
Runs batted in927
Stolen bases153
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early years

Granderson grew up in Blue Island, Illinois, and Lynwood, Illinois, south suburbs of Chicago.[2] His father, Curtis, Sr., was a dean and physical education teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Illinois. His mother, Mary, taught chemistry at Curie Metropolitan High School in Chicago. Granderson's half-sister, Monica, is an English professor at Jackson State University.[3]

As a child, Granderson grew up a fan of the Atlanta Braves, choosing not to root for the hometown Chicago Cubs because he often rushed home from school to watch Saved by the Bell and was disappointed when a Cubs game was on instead.[4] Granderson attended Thornton Fractional South High School (T.F. South) in Lansing,[5] where he played baseball and basketball.[3] During his high school baseball career, Granderson batted .369 with 11 home runs and 88 runs batted in (RBI), and was named an All-State selection his senior year.[5] Granderson wore #14 at T.F. South, choosing the number because his father wore it while playing softball.[6] T.F. South honored Granderson by retiring his jersey in a December 2011 ceremony.[5]

College career

Granderson was recruited by a number of college baseball programs, and he chose the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in part because they allowed him to play basketball in addition to baseball.[3] However, Granderson quit basketball two weeks into his freshman year in order to concentrate on baseball.[3]

As a freshman at UIC in 2000, Granderson led the UIC Flames baseball team with seven home runs and 45 walks. He followed that by hitting .304 as a sophomore, leading the team in runs, home runs, and walks. After his sophomore year, Granderson played in a summer collegiate league for the Mankato Mashers, now known as the MoonDogs, of the Northwoods League, where he batted .328 in 44 games, with eight doubles, two triples, one home run, 17 RBI, 28 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases.[7]

During his junior season at UIC, Granderson batted .483, second in the nation to Rickie Weeks.[3] Granderson was named Second-Team All-American by Baseball America and USA Today's Baseball Weekly and a Third-Team Louisville Slugger NCAA Division I All-American. He graduated from UIC with a double major in business administration and business marketing.[2][8] On February 6, 2013 Granderson had his number 28 retired by UIC.[9]

Professional career

Minor leagues

The Detroit Tigers selected Granderson in the third round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft. The Tigers assigned Granderson to the Oneonta Tigers, their Minor League Baseball affiliate in the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League. With Oneonta, Granderson batted .344 in 52 games. Determined to complete his college education, though the fall semester began before the minor league season ended, Granderson made arrangements to begin his senior year at UIC via internet courses.[3]

The Tigers assigned Granderson to the Lakeland Tigers of the Class-A Advanced Florida State League in 2003 and the Erie SeaWolves of the Class AA Eastern League in 2004. With the SeaWolves, Granderson hit .303 with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs.[10] Baseball America named Granderson the Tigers' minor league player of the year and top prospect after the 2004 season.[8]

Prior to the 2005 season, Baseball America rated Granderson as the 57th best prospect in baseball.[11] Granderson competed for the role as the Tigers' starting center fielder in 2005 spring training, but the organization decided he needed more seasoning, and assigned him to the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class AAA International League.[12] With Toledo, he hit .290 with 15 home runs, 65 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.[13]

Detroit Tigers

2004–2005

The Tigers promoted Granderson to the majors for the first time in September 2004.[14] He made his major league debut on September 13 against the Minnesota Twins.[15] He received his second promotion to the majors in July 2005, and he appeared in six games. After his third promotion to the majors, in August,[13] he remained in the majors permanently. Granderson had his first career inside-the-park home run on September 15, a five-hit game September 18 and a walk-off home run on September 26 against the Chicago White Sox.[16]

2006

Granderson became the Tigers starting center fielder for the 2006 season after beating out Nook Logan for the position during spring training.[17] From the start of his major league career in 2004, Granderson began a 151-game errorless streak, the longest by a position player to start his career since Dave Roberts went errorless in 205 games.[18] Granderson hit two home runs during the 2006 American League Division Series and one in the 2006 American League Championship Series, but struggled in the 2006 World Series, batting .095, as the Cardinals defeated the Tigers.[19]

Through June, Granderson ranked first among American League (AL) outfielders in triples (14), third in doubles (22), tied for fourth in runs (58) and tied for 10th in homers (11) with a .289 batting average in the 2007 season.[20] Although Granderson was not listed on the 2007 All-Star Game ballot, due to the Tigers' decision to put Gary Sheffield as an outfielder on the ballot, he still received 376,033 write-in votes, the most write-in votes for any player.[20] Granderson was named the AL Player of the Week on July 16, the first time he had won the award, as he hit .500 (8 for 16) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run during that week.[21] Granderson slugged .938, drove in two runs, scored seven runs, and had fifteen total bases during Detroit's four-game series against the Seattle Mariners.[22]

Curtis Granderson
Granderson with the Detroit Tigers in 2007

On August 7, Granderson became the second player in franchise history to have at least 30 doubles, 15 triples, 15 home runs, and ten stolen bases in a single season when he hit a double in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The other Tiger to accomplish this feat was Charlie Gehringer in 1930.[23] He became the sixth member of baseball's 20–20–20 club on September 7, joining the Kansas City Royals' George Brett (1979), Willie Mays of the New York Giants (1957), Cleveland's Jeff Heath (1941), St. Louis' Jim Bottomley (1928), and Frank Schulte of the Chicago Cubs (1911). Granderson stole his 20th base of the season on September 9, joining Mays and Schulte as the only players in major league history to reach 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in a season, a feat accomplished by the Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins 21 days later.[24][25]

Granderson hit .302 with 23 home runs for the season, and was 26 for 27 in stolen base attempts. He also improved his plate discipline, as he finished seventh in the AL in strikeouts with 141.[26][27] He was one of only six batters in the AL to have at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, along with teammate Gary Sheffield, Ian Kinsler, Alex Rodriguez, Grady Sizemore and B. J. Upton.[26][27]

2007

Granderson-20th stolen base 2007
Granderson steals his 20th base with the Tigers in 2007

During the 2007 season, Granderson accumulated 23 triples, which led all of baseball. The American League and Detroit Tigers record is 26 triples, a feat achieved by the all-time triples king, Sam Crawford, in 1914. Granderson is the first player since 1949 to manage at least 23 in a single season.[28] Only ten of his triples were at home despite the fact Comerica Park has seen more triples since it opened in 2000 than any other ballpark in baseball. Granderson joined the 20-20-30-20 club, having more than 20 triples, 20 home runs, 30 doubles, and 20 stolen bases. The last player to accomplish the feat was Wildfire Schulte in 1911. Granderson's 23 triples were as much or more than six entire teams managed in 2007; the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals all had no more than 23 team triples.

2008–2009

Prior to the start of the 2008 season, the Tigers signed Granderson to a five-year, US$30.25 million contract with a club option for 2013.[29] Granderson continued hitting well during the 2008 regular season, finishing with a .280 batting average, 13 triples and 22 home runs. He continued to improve his plate discipline, striking out only 111 times (versus 141 in 2007 and 174 in 2006) and drawing a career-high 71 walks.[26] During August, he hit six triples,[30] including two in consecutive innings during a game against the Texas Rangers.[31]

With the Tigers failing to make the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, TBS employed Granderson as a commentator alongside Cal Ripken, Jr., Dennis Eckersley and Frank Thomas for its coverage of the 2007 and 2008 postseasons.[32][33]

Granderson was chosen to appear in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game. It was his first All Star appearance. In the game, he hit a triple in the top of the 8th inning and scored the winning run.[34]

New York Yankees

2010

After the 2009 season, the Tigers began shopping Granderson to other franchises in an effort to reduce their payroll.[35] The Yankees acquired Granderson in a three-team trade on December 9. In the deal, the Yankees received Granderson while sending Phil Coke and centerfielder Austin Jackson to Detroit. Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks received Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy and Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson in return for young pitchers Max Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth, who joined the Tigers.[36]

Granderson hit a home run in his first Yankee at bat on April 4, 2010, becoming the twelfth player to do so.[37] Although he missed some games due to a strained groin, Granderson finished the season with 136 games played, a .247 batting average, and 24 home runs.[38] Granderson, who struggled against left-handed pitching throughout his career, also put up subpar numbers against right-handed pitchers, causing Granderson to revamp his swing with the help of hitting coach Kevin Long in August 2010.[39]

2011

Curtis Granderson at bat 2011
Granderson hit 41 home runs in 2011.

Granderson's work with Long was credited as a reason for his strong 2011 campaign.[40] Granderson received over 6.6 million votes for the 2011 MLB All-Star Game.[4] In August 2011, Granderson and Mark Teixeira became the first Yankees teammates to hit 30 home runs in 115 games since Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961. On August 10, Granderson hit two home runs against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to tally a career-high 31 home runs.[41] Granderson, Robinson Canó, and Russell Martin all hit grand slams in a game against the Oakland Athletics on August 25, the first time a team had three grand slams in one game.[42] Granderson was named American League Player of the Month for August 2011, in which he batted .286, with a .423 on-base percentage, slugged .657, hit ten home runs, recorded 29 RBI, and scored 29 runs, and had the highest number of pitches per plate appearance in the major leagues (4.44).[43][44] He became the first player to record 40 home runs, 10 triples and 25 stolen bases in one season.[40] Granderson finished fourth in balloting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.[45]

2012

On May 6, 2012, Curtis achieved his 1,000th hit against the Kansas City Royals. On August 26, 2012, Granderson hit his 200th career home run against the Cleveland Indians. He finished the 2012 season with a .232 batting average, 43 home runs, 106 RBI, and set a new Yankees season record by striking out 195 times.[46]

2013

On October 19, the Yankees exercised Granderson's club option for 2013. Originally worth $13 million, it became a $15 million option after he placed 4th in the MVP voting in 2011.[47] In his spring training debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on February 24, 2013, Granderson was hit by a pitch from J. A. Happ that fractured his right forearm. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list to begin the 2013 season.[48] He returned to the Yankees on May 14.[49] On May 18, 2013, Granderson made his first start at right field. May 24, 2013, Granderson broke the knuckle of his left pinkie finger after getting hit by Tampa Bay's Cesar Ramos's pitch in the 5th inning. He was again placed on the 15-day disabled list.[50] On May 29, 2013, Granderson underwent surgery in which a pin was inserted to the knuckle to stabilize the fracture. On August 2, 2013, Granderson was activated from the disabled list. Granderson was limited to only 61 games in 2013 batting .229 with 7 home runs and 15 RBI. He became a free agent for the first time of his career after the season.

New York Mets

2014

Curtis Granderson on March 7, 2014
Granderson batting for the Mets in 2014

Granderson agreed to terms with the New York Mets on a four-year contract worth $60 million on December 6, 2013. Granderson's salaries were set at $13 million in 2014, $16 million in 2015 and 2016, and $15 million in 2017.[51] The Mets played Granderson as their right fielder. He started 148 games with 130 in right field.[52] He batted .227, and had the highest number of pitches per plate appearance in the major leagues (4.37).[53]

2015

In 2015, he became the team's primary leadoff hitter.[54] He went on to lead the team in games played, runs scored, hits, stolen bases, walks, on-base percentage and total bases en route to a National League East division title.[55] In the third game of the National League Division Series, Granderson picked up five RBI – this tied a Mets single game postseason record previously set by Carlos Delgado in the 2006 National League Championship Series, Edgardo Alfonzo in the 1999 NLCS and Rusty Staub in the 1973 World Series.[56] After beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, the Mets went on to sweep the Chicago Cubs in four games in the NLCS and advance to their first World Series since 2000.

Granderson and Daniel Murphy were the two most productive hitters in the Mets lineup during their 2015 postseason run to the World Series. While Murphy cooled off in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals, Granderson continued to be a consistent threat for the Mets out of the leadoff spot and also had three home runs and five RBIs in that World Series. In Game 1, after the Royals tied the game in the ninth inning with a home run off Mets closer Jeurys Familia, Granderson made an excellent leaping catch with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th inning, off the bat of the Royals fastest runner Jarrod Dyson, preventing what would have at least been a lead off triple and likely saving the game at the time, though the Royals would go on to win the game anyway in the bottom of the 14th inning on a sacrifice fly by Eric Hosmer.

2016–2017

On May 27, 2016, Granderson hit a walk off home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was the first batter up in the bottom of the 9th inning. As of June 16, 2016, Granderson had hit 17 lead-off homers since joining the Mets in 2014, a franchise record.[57] On September 17, Granderson hit two solo home runs against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field. The first tied the ballgame in the bottom of the 11th inning and the second won the game in the bottom of the 12th inning. He became only the eighth player in Major League history to hit multiple home runs in extra innings of the same game.[58][59] In the National League Wild Card Game against the San Francisco Giants on October 5, Granderson made an incredible catch to save several runs from scoring late in the close game.

On June 14, 2017, Granderson hit his 300th career home run in a Mets win over the Chicago Cubs.[60] He batted .228 with the Mets in 2017, and for the season had the highest number of pitches per plate appearance in the major leagues (4.52).[61]

Later career

Curtis Granderson 2018
Granderson with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers

On August 18, 2017, the Mets traded Granderson to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later, identified as Jacob Rhame.[62] He hit his first home run for the Dodgers on August 20 against Justin Verlander of the Tigers.[63] After hitting a grand slam home run in his last at-bat for the Mets on August 17, he hit one for the Dodgers on August 21 and became the first player in MLB history to hit grand slams for two different teams within the same week.[64] The following day, he stole his 150th career base, becoming the 36th player in MLB history with over 300 home runs and 150 or more steals.[65] He batted .161/.288/.366 for the Dodgers, in 112 at bats. He was 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts in the first two rounds of the playoffs, and the Dodgers left him off the World Series roster.[66]

Toronto Blue Jays

On January 23, 2018, Granderson signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.[67] On April 18, facing the Kansas City Royals, Granderson hit his ninth career grand slam. On April 24, Granderson hit his first walk-off home run since 2016 in a 10th inning victory against the Boston Red Sox. On June 10, against the Baltimore Orioles, Granderson hit for a career high six RBIs with a home run, two doubles, a single and a walk. On June 25, while playing the Houston Astros, Granderson hit his eighth and ninth home runs of the season off of former teammate Justin Verlander to lead the Jays to victory.[68]

Milwaukee Brewers

On August 31, 2018, the Blue Jays traded Granderson to the Milwaukee Brewers for Demi Orimoloye.[69] He batted .220 for the Brewers.

Miami Marlins

On February 5, 2019, Granderson signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins that included an invitation to spring training and provides him with a $1.75 million salary if he makes the major league roster.[70]

Personal life

Curtis Granderson on August 26, 2011
Granderson with the Yankees

Granderson is an avid fan of WWE, and attended WrestleMania 23 in Detroit. He considers The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Junkyard Dog and "Macho Man" Randy Savage to be his favorite wrestlers.[71][72] He is also an avid fan of college basketball and of the Kansas Jayhawks.[73]

Off the field, Granderson has served as an ambassador for Major League Baseball International. He has traveled to England, Italy, the Netherlands, France, South Africa, China, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan to promote baseball.[74][75][76] In appreciation for his efforts, Commissioner Bud Selig penned a thank-you letter to Granderson which 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."[3] He has also served as something of an unofficial baseball ambassador to the African-American community, often participating in and initiating dialogue about the lack of black players at all levels of the sport.[77][78] When he endorsed Nike, Inc., Louisville Slugger and Rawlings, he asked them to donate money to his foundation or equipment to inner-city baseball programs rather than pay him.[3]

His foundation, Grand Kids Foundation, has raised money to benefit the educations of inner-city children around the country.[2][3] Granderson wrote a children's book, All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It!, which was published in August 2009. The book is illustrated by students of the New York City public school system.[2] In February 2010, Granderson represented MLB at a White House function announcing Let's Move!, a childhood anti-obesity effort sponsored by First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama.[79] Granderson donated $5 million to help UIC build a new baseball stadium in 2013.[80]

Granderson has been involved in the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) since 2006. He has taken part in negotiations of the labor contract.[4] Granderson was chosen as the 2009 Marvin Miller Man of the Year by the MLBPA for his off-field work.[1]

In 2011, Granderson was also voted one of the friendliest players in the Major Leagues, according to a poll conducted by Sports Illustrated of 290 players.[4] Granderson wears his socks high to honor players from the Negro leagues.[37]

Publications

  • Granderson, Curtis (2009). All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It!. Triumph Books. ISBN 1-60078-247-7. Retrieved December 13, 2011.

See also

References

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  75. ^ "Curtis Granderson Sharpens His Sumo Wrestling Skills During Visit to Japan". NESN.com. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
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External links

2006 American League Championship Series

The 2006 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2006 American League playoffs, began on October 10 and ended on October 14. The wild card Detroit Tigers swept the Western Division champion Oakland Athletics 4 games to none to advance to the 2006 World Series, and became the fourth AL team to win 10 pennants, joining the New York Yankees (39), the Athletics (15), and the Boston Red Sox (11). Magglio Ordóñez's game-winning walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 4 sealed the pennant for the Tigers. This ALCS marked the 5th different AL pennant winner in as many years (following 2005 with the White Sox, 2004 with the Red Sox, 2003 with the Yankees, and 2002 with the Angels).

The Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins 3 games to none in the AL Division Series, and the Tigers defeated the Yankees 3 games to 1. The Tigers faced the National League champions St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, but lost in five games. The Athletics had home-field advantage (despite the Tigers having a better regular season record) as the wild card team defers home field advantage in the LCS regardless of regular season record.

The Athletics were seeking their first AL pennant since 1990, while the Tigers captured the league title for the first time since their win in the 1984 World Series. The series was a rematch of the 1972 American League Championship Series (then a best-of-five series), in which Oakland defeated Detroit in 5 games. Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who led the Florida Marlins to the 1997 World Series title, became the seventh manager in history to win pennants in both leagues. It was the second consecutive ALCS without the Yankees and Red Sox.

2006 American League Division Series

The 2006 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 2006 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 3, and ended on Saturday, October 7, with the champions of the three AL divisions—along with a "wild card" team—participating in two best-of-five series. They were:

(1) New York Yankees (Eastern Division champions, 97–65) vs. (4) Detroit Tigers (Wild Card, 95–67); Tigers win series, 3–1.

(2) Minnesota Twins (Central Division champions, 96–66) vs. (3) Oakland Athletics (Western Division champions, 93–69); Athletics win series, 3–0.The Athletics and Tigers met in the AL Championship Series, where a Detroit sweep made the Tigers the American League champions. The Tigers then faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 World Series, and lost, four games to one.

2007 Detroit Tigers season

The Detroit Tigers 2007 season ended with the 88-74 Tigers finishing runner-up in the AL Central Division, eight games in back of the AL Central Champion Cleveland Indians. They failed in winning the Wild Card, a task which they achieved in 2006, and going on to win the AL Pennant.

After a trip to the 2006 World Series that ended with a defeat to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Tigers started the offseason by trading pitchers Humberto Sánchez, Kevin Whelan, and Anthony Claggett to the New York Yankees for outfielder and designated hitter Gary Sheffield. Plus, they re-signed players from the previous season's team; first baseman Sean Casey, second baseman Omar Infante, outfielder Craig Monroe, left-handed starting pitcher Nate Robertson, and right-handed relief pitcher Fernando Rodney all returned with the Tigers for the 2007 season.

2010 American League Championship Series

The 2010 American League Championship Series (ALCS) was the best-of-seven game series pitting the winners of the 2010 American League Division Series for the American League Championship. The American League wild card-winning New York Yankees faced the American League West Division champions Texas Rangers. The Rangers won the 2010 ALCS and faced the National League champion San Francisco Giants in the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first ever appearance in the World Series, but would go on to lose to the Giants in five games. The series, the 41st in league history, began October 15 and ended on October 22. The Rangers had home field advantage in the series, as the wild-card team defers home field advantage in the LDS and LCS regardless of regular-season record.

The Rangers and Yankees had met in the postseason in each of the Rangers' three previous postseason appearances; the Yankees had won all previous meetings, 3–1 in the 1996 ALDS, and 3–0 in the 1998 and 1999 ALDS.

2015 World Series

The 2015 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2015 season. The 111th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion New York Mets and the American League (AL) champion Kansas City Royals. The series was played between October 27 and November 1, with the Royals winning the series 4 games to 1. It was the first time since the 2010 World Series that the World Series extended into November. The Royals became the first team since the Oakland Athletics in the 1989 World Series to win the World Series after losing in the previous year. It was the first World Series to feature only expansion teams and the first since the 2007 World Series to not feature the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, or San Francisco Giants as the NL champions.

The Royals had home field advantage for the first two games of the series because of the AL's 6–3 victory in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It was the 13th World Series in which home field advantage was awarded to the league that won the All-Star Game, a practice that was discontinued after the 2016 season. The series was played in a 2–3–2 format: the Royals hosted Games 1 and 2, and the Mets hosted Games 3, 4, and 5 (there was no Game 6 or 7, which the Royals would have hosted).

The Royals won Game 1 in extra innings. The Royals also won Game 2 with a complete game by Johnny Cueto, who allowed only one unearned run and two hits. With the series shifting to New York, the Mets won Game 3 with home runs by David Wright and Curtis Granderson. The Royals came from behind to win Game 4 after an error by Daniel Murphy led to a blown save by Jeurys Familia. Game 5 also went into extra innings, where bench player Christian Colón drove in the go-ahead run for the Royals, who clinched the series. Salvador Pérez was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

2017 Horizon League Baseball Tournament

The 2017 Horizon League Baseball Tournament was held from May 24 through 27 at Les Miller Field at Curtis Granderson Stadium in Chicago, home to conference regular-season champion UIC. The top six finishers of the league's seven teams met in the double-elimination tournament. UIC won the tournament to earn the conference's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

20–20–20 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 20–20–20 club is the group of batters who have collected 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 home runs in a single season. Frank Schulte was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1911. The last players to reach the milestone—Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins—attained 20–20–20 during the 2007 season. This marked the first time that two players accomplished the achievement in the same season.

In total, only seven players are members of the 20–20–20 club. Of these, five were left-handed batters, one was right-handed and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two players—George Brett and Willie Mays—are also members of the 3,000 hit club, and Mays is also a member of the 500 home run club. Schulte, Rollins, and Jim Bottomley won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 20–20–20 season. Both Mays and Rollins joined the club while also hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases that same season to join the 30–30 club. Brett and Rollins collected more than 200 hits alongside achieving 20–20–20. Furthermore, four players amassed 20 or more stolen bases during their 20–20–20 season. These players are collectively referred to as the 20–20–20–20 club.Historically, there have been numerous players who have hit 20 doubles and 20 home runs in a year. It is the component of triples, however, that makes the 20–20–20 club so difficult to achieve. This is because hitting triples often comes under a similar hit placement as doubles, but may require impressive speed on the part of the runner. This would pose a challenge for both a slugger, who may be slower at running the bases and have the tendency to hit line drives and fly balls out of the park for a home run, as well as a speedster, who may be more swift around the bases but may not supply much power to drive the ball far.

Due to the rare occurrence and low membership of the 20–20–20 club, Baseball Digest called it "the most exclusive club in the Majors" in 1979, when there were only four members. Of the five members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, three have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot.

A.K.O.O. Clothing

A.K.O.O. is a clothing line started in late 2008 and founded by T.I. and Jason Geter, both co-founders of Atlanta-based recording label Grand Hustle Records. A.K.O.O. is an acronym that stands for "A King Of Oneself."

Back of the Shop

Back of the Shop is a sports talk show with sports and entertainment superstars as the hosts. The show takes place in the Bronx, New York at Jordan Sport Barbershop. After first being aired on May 24, 2014 with David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, Iman Shumpert and Larry Johnson as guests, it now airs regularly on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. Because of the atmosphere, conversations remain unfiltered and allow the audience to gain insight on the thoughts of the most popular celebrities. Other guest stars include Snoop Dogg, Robinson Canó, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dez Bryant, Curtis Granderson, Gary Sheffield and more.

Jordan Sport Barbershop is located in the Bronx, New York and is owned by Jose Moises "Jordan" Lopez, who is the official barber of the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Back of the Shop is produced by Relativity Media and Boardwalk Pictures and is directed by Andrew Fried.

Center fielder

A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field – the baseball and softball fielding position between left field and right field. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the center fielder is assigned the number 8.

Jacob Rhame

Jacob Alan Rhame (born March 16, 1993) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Les Miller Field at Curtis Granderson Stadium

Les Miller Field at Curtis Granderson Stadium is a baseball venue in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is home to the UIC Flames baseball team of the NCAA Division I Horizon League. The facility has a capacity of 1,000 spectators and is named for Les Miller, UIC head baseball coach from 1949–1979, and Curtis Granderson, an alumnus of the program. During Miller's tenure, the program won over 500 games. Granderson was named conference player of the year with the Flames in 2002 and later played in Major League Baseball. On 17 September 2013, UIC broke ground on a new stadium on the same site, funded in part by donations from Granderson. It consists of a new structure housing a press box, dugouts, and grandstand, and was completed for the 2014 season.

Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award

The Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award is given annually to a Major League Baseball (MLB) player "whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others to higher levels of achievement." The award was created by the Major League Baseball Players' Association (MLBPA) and was presented to the inaugural winner—Mark McGwire—in 1997 as the "Man of the Year Award". Three years later, it was renamed in honor of Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the MLBPA. The award forms part of the Players Choice Awards.In order to determine the winner, each MLB team nominates one of their players, who is selected by their teammates to appear on the ballot. An online vote is conducted among baseball fans in order to reduce the number of candidates to six. MLB players then choose the award winner from among the six finalists. In addition to the award, recipients have $50,000 donated on their behalf to charities of their choice by the MLB Players Trust. John Smoltz, Jim Thome, Michael Young, and Curtis Granderson are the only players to win the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award on multiple occasions. Four winners – Paul Molitor, Jim Thome, Smoltz, and Mariano Rivera – are members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.Winners of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award have undertaken a variety of different causes. Many winners, including McGwire, Thome, Smoltz, Mike Sweeney, Torii Hunter, Young, Curtis Granderson and Brandon Inge, worked with children in need. McGwire established a foundation to assist children who were physically or sexually abused, while Inge visited disabled children at the Mott Children's Hospital and donated part of his salary to raise money for a pediatric cancer infusion center. Other winners devoted their work to aiding individuals who had a specific illness, such as Albert Pujols, whose daughter suffers from Down syndrome, and who devoted the Pujols Family Foundation to helping those with the disease, and Chipper Jones, who has been raising money for cystic fibrosis since 1996, after meeting an 11-year-old fan who suffered from the disease and who died several weeks after meeting Jones through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

McCovey Cove

McCovey Cove is the unofficial name of a section of San Francisco Bay beyond the right field wall of Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, named after famed Giants first baseman Willie McCovey. The proper name for the cove is China Basin, which is the mouth of Mission Creek as it meets the bay. The cove is bounded along the north by Oracle Park, with a ferry landing and a breakwater at the northeast end. The southern shore is lined by China Basin Park and McCovey Point. To the east, it opens up to San Francisco Bay, while the west end of the cove is bounded by the Lefty O'Doul Bridge, named after San Francisco ballplayer and manager Lefty O'Doul.

Nook Logan

Exavier Prente "Nook" Logan (born November 28, 1979) is a former Major League Baseball center fielder. He attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College. He made his Major League debut July 21, 2004, with the Detroit Tigers against the Kansas City Royals. He was named the Tigers' rookie of the year for 2004.

Although he was expected to compete for the center field job in 2006, Logan was beaten out by Curtis Granderson and was subsequently injured upon arrival in the minors. On August 29, 2006, Logan was designated for assignment by the Tigers. On September 1 of that year, he was traded to the Washington Nationals, after asking Detroit management for a trade. Upon arriving in Washington, Logan immediately impressed with his spectacular catches and speed. Logan was recognized that year as the fastest player in Major League Baseball. He ended up hitting .300 and making several impressive catches in the field.

In 2007, Logan was the opening day center fielder for the Nationals. He injured his foot that day after crashing into the wall in the outfield. He would be out for over a month but ended up hitting .265 after slumping toward the tail end of the season. Logan's lack of power prompted the Nationals to look for a power-hitting outfielder to replace him at season's end. Logan was not offered a new contract by the Nationals and became a free agent on December 12, 2007.

On December 13, 2007, Logan was identified in the Mitchell Report as a client of Kirk Radomski, who distributed banned performance-enhancing substances to MLB players. He would later admit that he used Human Growth Hormone (HGH), a legal substance, banned by Major League Baseball, in order to recover from his injury in the minor leagues.

On February 15, 2008, Logan signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Without a chance of making the team's opening day roster Logan became a free agent. On June 23, he signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League and played out the season.

In 2010 Logan played for the Newark Bears.

He has since spoken of the Mitchell Report as having had a "huge impact" on his ability to sign on with another Major League Baseball club.

Players Choice Awards

The Players Choice Awards are annual Major League Baseball awards, given by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA).

The Players Choice Awards are given following a secret ballot by players. Four awards go to a player in each league, while two awards each go to one player in all of Major League Baseball. Prize money is donated to a charity of each winner's choice.The first Players Choice Awards were given in 1992, to the Comeback Player in each of the two major leagues. There were no other awards that year. In 1993, the Comeback Player awards were replaced by an Outstanding Player award for each league. Then, in 1994, two more categories were added: Outstanding Pitcher (in each league) and Outstanding Rookie (in each league).

In 1997, the dual Comeback Player awards were again named, along with the first-ever single award — the Man of the Year — for one player in all of Major League Baseball. In 1998, a second non-dual award was added, Player of the Year. In addition, the Man of the Year award was renamed in honor of Marvin Miller, former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. In 1999, a special Player of the Decade award was given.

In 2015, a third non-dual award was created. The "Always Game" award is given to the player who – game in and game out – constantly exhibits positive energy, grit, tenacity, hustle, perseverance, relentlessness and sportsmanship; all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.

St. Cloud Rox (collegiate summer baseball)

The St. Cloud Rox are a baseball team that play in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Their home games are played at the Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minnesota. As of June 26, 2018, 198 former Northwoods League players have gone on to play Major League Baseball. Most notable: Curtis Granderson, Andre Ethier, Jordan Zimmerman, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer, Juan Pierre, Jeff Weaver & Pat Neshek.

Thornton Fractional South High School

Thornton Fractional Township South High School (T.F. South, TF South, TFS) is a high school located in Suburban Cook County, Illinois, located 6 miles (9.7 km) from the city limits of Chicago. The school serves an area of approximately 9 square miles (23 km2), & serves over 2,000 students in grades 9-12 who reside in the near South Suburban communities of Lansing & Lynwood.

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