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Get to know Curtis Granderson

Yankees outfielder, Curtis Granderson, prepares to blast a

Yankees outfielder, Curtis Granderson, prepares to blast a few wiffle balls over the fence at P.S.19 in the Bronx. (Nov. 28, 2011) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

For those in MLB circles, outfielder Curtis Granderson is known as much for his off-the-field work as he is for what he does on the diamond. Find out more about the Grandy Man with these 15 facts.
By Bobby Bonett

Granderson was born in Illinois, and grew up
Photo Credit: AP

Granderson was born in Illinois, and grew up in a Chicago suburb. He went to college at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and was drafted in 2002 by the Tigers. His MLB debut was on Sept. 13, 2004.

Initially, Granderson didn't think baseball would be his
Photo Credit: AP

Initially, Granderson didn't think baseball would be his permanent job. He told ESPN, "When I signed to play my professional contract [with Detroit], I thought I'd probably do this for two or three years and then go get a regular job like everybody else."

A proud wrestling fan, Granderson said that the
Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

A proud wrestling fan, Granderson said that the childhood version of him would have traded his 20-20-20-20 season in 2007 for a spot in the Wrestlemania 23 main event. According to prowrestling.net, Macho Man, Undertaker and Hulk Hogan are among his all-time favorite wrestlers.

As part of a commercial deal, Granderson was
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

As part of a commercial deal, Granderson was offered a free Corvette. He turned it down for a Malibu, though, telling ESPN that with "the Malibu, I can sneak into Target and pull out of Target, and no one expects me."

In 2007, Granderson received 376,033 votes for the
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In 2007, Granderson received 376,033 votes for the All-Star game. Why was that significant? Because he wasn't even on the ballot. All of Granderson's votes were from write-in submissions; the Tigers decided to put Gary Sheffield on the ballot in place of their promising young center fielder.

Granderson has been heralded for his work off
Photo Credit: AP

Granderson has been heralded for his work off the field, and across the globe with the MLB. In fact, Bud Selig once sent him a personal note, writing, "There are so many fine young men playing Major League baseball today, but I can't think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you." He has traveled to Europe, South Africa, China, New Zealand and Taiwan for the league.

One of the victims of the Virginia Tech
Photo Credit: AP

One of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre on April 16, 2007 was Brian Bluhm. Granderson found out Bluhm was an avid Tigers fan, and a fan of Granderson's, and reached out to Bluhm's family. He maintains a relationship with them, and on April 16 of each year, changes his Facebook and MySpace profile images to a picture of Bluhm.

In 2009, Granderson hit 30 home runs, but
Photo Credit: Getty Images

In 2009, Granderson hit 30 home runs, but drove in just 71 runs. It was the ninth lowest RBI total for a player that hit 30 or more home runs in a season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record, with Deer driving in 64 runs in 1992 when he hit 32 homers, and Mantilla finishing with 64 RBIs in 1964 when he had 30 home runs.

In 2009, Granderson was named the Marvin Miller
Photo Credit: AP

In 2009, Granderson was named the Marvin Miller Man by the MLBPA for his off-field work. The award is named for the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

In 2008, Granderson wrote
Photo Credit: MCT Photo

In 2008, Granderson wrote "Don't think, have fun" on the bottom of the brim of his hat. His college coach had told him he was over-analytical, and to simplify his game; Granderson adopted the mantra. New Era recently changed the style of its caps, forcing Granderson to move the phrase to the inside of his hat.

Granderson is already a published author. The book,
Photo Credit: AP

Granderson is already a published author. The book, "All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It!" was published in 2009 by Triumph Books. It is a children's book geared toward encouraging children to stay positive and strive to succeed.

In his first trip to the plate with
Photo Credit: AP

In his first trip to the plate with the New York Yankees, Granderson homered. He was the 12th Bomber to go deep in his first at bat with the team. John Sterling's call? He did "something sort of grandish!"

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