Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yes, Some People DO Get It

Athletes typically don't have the best reputations these days. From Pacman Jones on down, there are some pretty bad guys, or guys with really bad judgment. Yet every once in a while, something reminds me that there are some really terrific people in sports.

Like Curtis Granderson.

Granderson is the center fielder for the Detroit Tigers. At 27, he was expected to continue his rise to the top of the elite players in the American League. In 2007, he hit .302 with 23 homers 74 RBI's, and 122 runs scored.

OK, he struck out 141 times (and 174 in 2006), so he's not quite elite yet.

Anyway, Granderson's 2008 - much like the rest of the Tigers - got off to a rough start when he broke his hand. After the hand had healed, Granderson went to a rehab assignment, for the West Michigan Whitecaps in Grand Rapids.

So far, this story is pretty basic, no?

This is where it gets cool. Granderson is from a family of teachers - both his parents and his sister are educators. So when Granderson hit Grand Rapids, he figured he could use his time there to do some good. Let Dave Murray of the Grand Rapids Press take it from here (and thanks to Awful Announcing for the tip).
Granderson is in town to play some rehabilitation games with the West Michigan Whitecaps as he recovers from a broken hand. With some time on his mending hands, he called Grand Rapids Public Schools and offered to spend some time with students.
Riverside Middle School was the lucky place, and if you read the article, it sounds like everyone had a blast.

So the next time Granderson burns your team (like, say, the Yankees) with a big hit or catch, remember this story. It might make the sting just a little easier.

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