Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss
When word came down late on Friday night that Curtis Granderson had been traded to the Dodgers, I cried. Judging from all the Twitter posts, internet comments, Facebook comments, and quotes from teammates I was not alone in my reaction. That alone speaks volumes about the character of Curtis Granderson.
Michael Conforto gave Curtis Granderson a ton of credit for his development. Can tell he's pretty upset today. #mets— Zach Braziller (@NYPost_Brazille) August 19, 2017
Sad to see @cgrand3 go and wishing him nothing but the best. Truly a class act guy, one of the best in baseball. Thank you Curtis!— Josh Smoker (@Josh_Smoker) August 19, 2017
The type of person Grandy is was evident from the moment you stepped through the Citi Field doors. It would not be surprising to see him down the right field baseline before the game, glove on head, signing autographs, taking pictures, and giving the thumbs up. Anyone who has sat in the seats in right field can tell you, that even during the game Grandy would smile, wave, and generally acknowledge those who were around him. That was Curtis. Embracing the fans, bringing us along for the ride.
Even away from the ballpark, Granderson gave of himself in every way he could. His charity work is unparalleled and earned him the Roberto Clemente Award in 2016. His Grand Kids Foundation just celebrated its 10th anniversary and has helped thousands of children since its inception in 2007.
The Mets and their fans have said goodbye to quite a few players this season. The quiet, softspoken Lucas Duda was one of the first to say his goodbyes and he specifically mentioned Granderson in his letter to the fans. Of course Granderson started the Wefollowlucasduda Instagram account, which welcomed fans into the clubhouse and added some fun and personality to the team.
As good as Curtis was off the field, he was a joy to watch on the field, as well. He rose to the occasion both times the Mets made the playoffs during his tenure. His defense in both 2015 and 2016 made an impact for Noah Syndergaard.
Matt Harvey got off to a shaky start in the first playoff game at Citi Field against the Dodgers, but Curtis quickly erased the deficit with a bases-loaded double to give the Mets a lead they would never relinquish in the Game 3 NLDS blowout.
Curtis Granderson hit 3 homers in ’15 World Series with a torn ligament in his left thumb that later required surgery. Never said boo. https://t.co/S84JX8E9Xa— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 19, 2017
In 2016, the Mets were in a dogfight down the stretch with the Giants and Cardinals. Every game was important for the three teams competing for the two Wild Card spots. In a game against the Twins on September 17, 2016, Curtis hit two home runs, one to tie the game in eleventh, and one to win it in walk-off fashion in the twelfth.
That was not his only walk-off home run that season. He hit another on on May 27, 2016, in a thrilling win over the Dodgers.
There were many Mets that grabbed headlines in 2015, Yoenis Cespedes, Wilmer Flores, the pitching staff, Michael Conforto, just to name a few. It was Curtis Granderson, however, that was the steadying presence at the top of the lineup, that helped keep the Mets afloat until reinforcements arrived. He set a Mets record that season for leadoff home runs.
With his 95 home runs in a Mets uniform, Granderson finishes tied with Bobby Bonilla for fifteenth in club history for most home runs. He hit .239/.341/.444 in 573 games with the Mets. Of course, there are many more Granderson highlights and moments like the Wilmer Flores hug after the night he cried on the field.
This trade was not totally unexpected, and it is wonderful for Curtis that he has a real shot at a World Series title. There are still some good players here, but it seems a bright light has dimmed at Citi Field. Granderson was a major part of the contending teams in 2015-2016 and has left an indelible mark on this organization and its fans.
Good luck to you, Curtis, and thank you for all that you have done for this organization. I truly hope our paths cross again someday.