In December of 2009, Curtis Granderson was acquired by the Yankees from the Detriot Tigers. Granderson was a vital piece for the Yankees in the four years he played in the Bronx, batting a .275 with 115 home runs before heading to the Mets. The 16-year outfielder announced his retirement on Saturday, so let’s take the time to look back on some of the top moments of his Yankees career.
Granderson’s first at-bat as a Yankee
On April 4, 2010, Granderson suited up for his first game with his new team. He immediately got a taste of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry as his first game was in Fenway Park. Josh Beckett was the starting pitcher as Granderson stepped up to the plate. After working the count full, Grandy hunted the fastball and launched it into the right field seats. His first at-bat as a Yankee was a home run against their biggest rival. Talk about making a good first impression!
Granderson makes a spectacular catch in center field
In June of 2010, the Yankees were up in Canada as they took on the Blue Jays. A.J Burnett was on the mound facing Adam Lind. Burnett threw a high fastball and Lind got a good piece of it, sending it deep to center field. However, Granderson was able to track the ball all the way to the wall and make a leaping catch to rob Lind of an extra-base hit. It was an incredible catch considering the difficulty and the ground he had to cover.
Granderson’s two-run triple gives the Yankees the lead in Game One of the 2010 ALDS
The Yankees entered the sixth inning of the first game of the ALDS against the Minnesota Twins down 3-0. Mark Teixiera doubled to start the frame, followed by a walk to Alex Rodriguez and a pair of singles to Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada. Curtis Granderson stepped into the box with runners on first and second with two men out, down by a run. Grandy took a 2-1 pitch and drove it off the right-center field wall, scoring both runners and ending up on third base. His two-run triple put the Yankees ahead 4-3, and they would go on to win the game, 6-4.
Granderson hits an inside-the-park home run against the Twins
In August of 2011, the Yankees were in Target Field playing the Twins and left-handed pitcher Jose Mijares was on the mound for Minnesota. Granderson took a 3-2 pitch and skied it into right-center field, where it banged off the top of the wall. The ricochet split both outfielders as the ball made its way back towards the infield. With the speed Granderson had, he was off to the races. It was a close play at the plate, but Grandy was able to fly his way around the bases for an inside-the-park home run that extended the Yankees lead to two.
Granderson propels Yankees to win in Game Four of 2011 ALDS
The Yankees were facing off against the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS as they were down 2-1 in the series. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, the Tigers were threatening to put a crooked number on the board early. Don Kelly was at the plate and squared-up an A.J Burnett fastball. It sent Granderson back towards the wall in center, but he leaped up and made a fabulous play to end the inning, potentially saving at least three runs from scoring.
That wasn’t the only highlight of the game for Grandy however, as he’d have two more. In the second inning he smashed an RBI double to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Later in the sixth inning with the Yankees up by five runs, Granderson made an unbelievable full-extension diving catch to end the inning and ending any further threat of the Tigers scoring.
Curtis Granderson hits Yankees’ third grand slam of game
Against the Oakland A’s in August of 2011, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all smashed grand slams. The Yankees became the first team in MLB history to hit three grand slams in a single game thanks to Grandy, who capped off the day with the final slam of the game. The Yankees went on to win the game, 22-9.
Granderson goes 5-5 with three home runs
April 19, 2012 may have been the best game Granderson ever had in his 16-year career. He hit home runs in the first inning, second inning, and fourth inning. He would record two singles as well in that game, finishing the night having gone 5-5 with four RBI. The Yankees won the game, 7-6.
Curtis Granderson will be missed on the field as he was not only a great player, but also a great person. He deserves congratulations on an outstanding career, both in pinstripes and overall.