An open letter to former Blue Jay and current Milwaukee Brewer Curtis Granderson, who is in the midst of battling the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.
Dear Curtis Granderson,
I was ecstatic upon learning that you would be joining the Toronto Blue Jays this winter. At that point, I didn’t know much about you as a person, but was well aware of your dominance as a ballplayer. After reading the initial report, I rushed to my laptop to look up your career numbers.
The stats were even better than I remembered: a 2007 season that featured 23(!) triples and a .302/.361/.552 slash, a 2011 campaign with 41 homers and 119 RBI, and most recently, a 2016 season with 30 home runs and 24 doubles. It was clear to me that the Blue Jays would be getting a swell outfielder who’d be able to admirably fill in for the departed big bats that had anchored the offence for so many years prior.
However, it wasn’t until the first month or so of the season that I really began to admire your personality, class, and passion for the game of baseball. It was clear from the outset that, despite your experience, you played with stupendous effort, a tremendously positive attitude, and a sense of amusement unmatched by any other in the game, no matter the age. Outside of that, though, you brought a unique, calm voice to the Blue Jays clubhouse.
I was never actually in the clubhouse while you were here, but I can certainly imagine the pseudo-fatherly advice you undoubtedly provided to the Blue Jays youngsters. As I watched you in the dugout, chatting with young guns and veterans alike, I was in awe of just how much of a privilege it was to watch you play for the team I’ve been covering for years.
By July, the numbers were respectable. With a memorable walk-off home run and a slew of timely extra-base hits, you were about as clutch as clutch can be in the early parts of the season. Though the fanbase adored your presence, it was obvious that for the benefit of both parties, you’d soon be leaving the wonderful city of Toronto. On August 31, that became a reality, when you were finally dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers.
You might not know this, but a fair number of Toronto Blue Jays fans are cheering for the Milwaukee Brewers simply because you now play for them. The Brewers are a great club and have numerous attractive features for fans, but you being there sent fans over the perennial edge of rooting for them. As the NLCS rages on, the Blue Jays community on Twitter goes crazy when they hear that you, their beloved “Grandy”, comes up to bat with a chance to make an impact in the postseason.
Evidently, I don’t have a crystal ball, and thus, won’t be able to predict whether or not you’ll finally get the chance to earn your first World Series ring, but if it was up to me, you’d be the first guy to get one. Whether it’s the beautiful charitable work with the Grand Kids Foundation, or your involvement in the MLBPA, the deep love for baseball is evident in every facet of your career. I’ve often heard how nice a guy you are, on and off the field, which makes it even more surprising to me that you’re a fan of WWE!
In summary, it was an absolute pleasure seeing you play for the Toronto Blue Jays, and I wish you the best of luck in the pursuit of your first championship. I’ve never considered myself a fan of individual athletes, but I can safely say that I am a big fan of you. I don’t know where your career will take you after this season, but, if the opportunity presents itself for you to return to Toronto, I can assure you that it would be a move that the dedicated and loving fans of the Blue Jays would greatly appreciate. Thank you for reminding us how fun and powerful the game of baseball can be.