“As the stark racial minority in all aspects of our game, The Players Alliance has given a voice and platform to our Black players, unified in our stance against systemic racism,” said Curtis Granderson, former MLB player and President of The Players Alliance. “We stand together for what is right and to change our game for the better. The power of our player membership, including our non-Black teammates, coupled with the support of MLB and the Players Association, gives us the unique ability to create increased opportunities for the Black communities we care so much about” — Curtis Granderson.
The name Curtis Granderson is synonymous with players know for leaving it all on the field. He made sure to give his best effort out there and he made a name for himself during his time in MLB.
Granderson spent 16 seasons in the league and played for seven different teams. When he got that opportunity he made the most of it and became a well-known player throughout the league.
The three-time All-Star could get the job done in the field and at the plate. Baseball had a positive impact on Granderson’s life and he’s able to make an impact on the community because of this sport.
This is one Black man who cares about the community and giving back and he’s been doing that since he was playing in the league.
In 2007, he founded the Grand Kids Foundation. He had a vision to help aid youth development through education, physical fitness, and other positive initiatives. Not only has he impacted communities in his home state of Illinois, but he has also made an impact in other areas of the country as well.
“We started this in Detroit, here we are 10 years later getting a chance to celebrate a lot of different things we’ve done. Helping kids get introduced to the game of baseball, feeding kids, getting kids active and emphasizing the importance of education,” Granderson said in an article from nydailynews.com. “We’ve done it in a lot of different places: Chicago, Michigan, Florida and New York, so it’s been really cool to have that reach and ability because of baseball and because of this community.”
For Granderson, it was more than just playing the game. He used his platform to impact many people across the country and that just shows the kind of person he is.
Granderson last played in 2019, and he continues to be involved in the game even though he hasn’t touched the field in two years.
He serves as the president of The Players Alliance, a group made up of more than 100 former and current baseball players who come together to use their voice and platform to make new opportunities for Black communities in areas regarding baseball and society.
Granderson is not afraid to speak out on different topics or issues or take action. In July of 2020, the MLB and teams gave players the option of wearing a social message on their jersey for opening day, in the midst of everything that was going on in the world at the time.
Granderson and current MLB player Andrew McCutcheon were the two people in coordination with the league regarding that matter. So you can see that Granderson is passionate about the things he’s involved in and you just love to see it.
The Detroit Tigers drafted Granderson out of the University of Illinois-Chicago in the 2002 draft. During his time in Detroit, he established himself as one of the team’s top players.
During the 2007 season, he posted a .302 batting average, the first time he batted over .300 in his career.
In 2009, Granderson was selected to his first All-Star Game. He went on to finish the season with a .249 batting average and 30 home runs.
Batting in the leadoff spot, Granderson could change the game with one swing of a bat. He had power and speed, a deadly combination.
After a successful career in Detroit, he went to the east coast to play with the New York Yankees and the Mets.
Granderson had arguably his best season in 2011 with the Bronx Bombers. That season he was named an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award. He batted .262 and hit 41 home runs.
He went on to make one more All-Star team in 2012 with the Yankees. Granderson finished his career playing for the LA Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Miami Marlins.
No matter what team he went to, he was always loved by fans. Baseball has had a positive impact on Granderson’s life and he continues to impact the lives of others daily.
Major League Baseball announced today that the 2021 All-Star Game will not be played in Atlanta, Georgia. The decision to change the location comes one week after new legislation was passed in Georgia placing heavy restrictions on voters (Election Integrity Act 2021). The annual Midsummer Classic was originally scheduled to be played in Atlanta’s Truist Park, July 13.
In a statement, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
Manfred also stated MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
After Manfred reached out and spoke to three influential figures within MLB’s Players Alliance — MLB pitcher Edwin Jackson, Dee Strange Gordon and Cameron Maybin (the Black players who got the ball rolling) — he was convinced to join them in their fight to have the game moved out of Georgia.
The Players Alliance, whose mission includes creating an inclusive culture within baseball and providing opportunities for the Black community, were elated with the relocation decision and issued in part this statement:
“We want to make our voice heard loud and clear in our opposition of the recent Georgia legislation that not only disproportionately disenfranchises the Black community, but also paves the way for other states to pass similarly harmful laws based largely on widespread falsehoods and disinformation.”
White superstars such as Clayton Kershaw, Evan Longoria and Cody Bellinger are also a part of this special group of groundbreaking MLB players.
I want to applaud and extend a thank you to @MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for moving the All Star Game out of Georgia following the Governor’s signing of the new restrictive voting law. Way to be a leader and take a strong stance!
“A lot of our ballplayers are from Atlanta, not just the Black players,” said Players Alliance President Curtis Granderson on MLB Network. “We’re looking to do a lot more, especially in the State of Georgia.”
“We’ve grown into 150 plus players and we’ve been able to a lot of things virtually, going to 33 different cities, handing out COVID supplies and other equipment wherever needed, and we are just getting started, We are less than a year old.”
New voting bills, signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on March 26, have restrictions that disproportionately affect communities of color. The new legislation requires Georgia residents to have a photo ID for absentee voters by mail, reduces the amount of time voters will have to request an absentee ballot and reduces the number of places where dropboxes can be placed. It goes so far as to prohibit anyone from giving out food or water to voters who are waiting in line.
Moving the All-Star Game had been debated in the last week in the wake of the new Georgia voting law. On Wednesday, President Biden responded to questions about moving the game from Atlanta, saying he would “strongly support” pulling the game out of Atlanta because of a law he described as “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Following the passing of the voting law, MLB Players Association director Tony Clark told the Boston Globe that the union body was “very much aware” of the significance of the game being in Georgia and said that moving it would be considered.
The Braves are obviously ticked off with all of the potential revenue getting picked off in the ninth inning.
The new host city for the All-Star Game has not yet been determined. Manfred said MLB would continue with plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron, who died this past January, during the All-Star Game events.