Curtis Granderson officially hung up his cleats Friday morning after 16 years in the big leagues.
For a guy that only played three-and-a-half seasons with the Mets, the news hit me harder than I expected. Before there was Brandon Nimmo's smile, there was Granderson's, and it was infectious in every city he played in.
The moment Granderson said 'real New Yorkers are Mets fans' in his introductory press conference he became an instant fan favorite. The only person having more fun at Citi Field than The 7 Line Army was Granderson. There was this kid-like quality in how he played the game because he never forgot he was fortunate enough to get to play a game for a living. From hat tips to chats in between play to taking photos with fans to signing autographs, Granderson ALWAYS went above and beyond for the fans.
Granderson was a guest on 'Orange and Blue Thing' in July of 2017. When Darren posed the question about what life after baseball would look like for Granderson, he responded: "There are a lot of things I'm excited for. Some of those things include help my foundation to grow, continue my education and the broadcast stuff is something I've enjoyed but I'm not sure it's something I want to do 365 days a year but I do enjoy talking about the game and analyzing the game and if it's something I can keep fun in some form or fashion it's something that would definitely interest me."
It's been three years since that interview, but I imagine most of that same sentiment likely holds for Granderson. Forget about Granderson's impact on the field for a moment, I think he's bound to make a greater impact off the field with his charitable work. The 'Grand Kids Foundation' launched in 2017 and has remained an important part of Granderson's life. His charitable efforts aid thousands of youth through a variety of education, physical fitness and nutrition-focused programs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Granderson put much of his newfound free time toward his foundation and other charitable work to help others. That's just the kind of guy he is.
As for broadcasting, I'm completely on board with SNY finding a way to make him a part of the team. It doesn't sound like he's ready (yet) to dabble in a full-time gig, and who can blame him after being on the road for all these years? A part-time role as an analyst in the SNY studio would be a great way to keep Granderson in the loop - should he want to.
Baseball lost one of their good guys today. We all know he'll find somewhere new to do good now. Let's just hope he stops by to say hi at Citi Field once in a while.
Crack a smile for Granderson while watching this fan tribute video of his best moments with the Mets.