Curtis Granderson, one of the best outfielders of his generation, widely respected by fans and fellow players for his contributions both on and off the field, announced his retirement on Friday.
It’s been an incredible journey! Thanks for the ride of a lifetime, @MLB @MLB_PLAYERS pic.twitter.com/0AgOgSjWSC— Curtis Granderson (@cgrand3) January 31, 2020
Here’s a better look at his full statement:
Granderson, who will turn 39 in March, played for seven MLB franchises, though he’ll be best remembered for his tenures with the Tigers, Yankees and Mets. His 344 career home runs rank 33rd all time for a left-handed batter. The final 12 of those came in a Marlins uniform. He was a semi-regular starter in the corner outfield spots early in 2019, but it was overall the least productive of his 16 major league campaigns (.183/.281/.356, 71 wRC+, -1.4 fWAR in 363 PA).
Early in his career, the Illinois native founded the Grand Kids Foundation to emphasize to future generations the importance of education, physical fitness and nutrition. Granderson brought that message to communities all around the United States, South Florida included.
Fish Stripes’ own Alex Contreras recapped a special youth event that Granderson held at Marlins Park last April:
Each season, the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award goes to an MLB player who inspires those around him to “higher levels of achievement.” Granderson’s peers once again selected him last year—he is the only four-time winner in the history of the award.
2019 Marvin Miller Man of the Year | Curtis Granderson
"I don't think anybody likes Grandy, I think everyone loves Grandy." - #PeteAlonso Anyone who has been teammates with Curtis Granderson will tell you, no one is more deserving for the 2019 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Thank you for being an inspiration to all #MLBPlayers!Posted by Major League Baseball Players Association on Thursday, October 24, 2019
Immediately after his social media posts, Granderson appeared on MLB Network to reflect on his career and the decision to hang up his cleats, which was years in the making. He reveals that ex-Yankees teammate and current Marlins CEO Derek Jeter provided valuable guidance to him during this process:
“Taking his advice, obviously one of the greatest players to ever play, but a great person. Playing for him, playing with him, he’s a friend of mine. Just listening to him talk and hearing how he went about his things, saying, ‘Baseball is something that is a part of us, but it’s not the only thing that defines us.’
“I’ve always felt that way—as much as I love the game, there are many other things that I stand for and look forward to getting a chance to do.”
Hey Curt .... Man thank you for everything that you did for this game, on and off the field. I’m so lucky that I had to learn from you the last year that you played. Congrats on a great playing career and the legacy that you are leaving. Thank you for the Lavo’s dinners— Miguel Rojas (@MRojasOfficial) January 31, 2020
.@cgrand3 https://t.co/gUdqGisHar pic.twitter.com/YCub7Bc2Oq— Sterling Sharp (@DatDude_Ster42) January 31, 2020
Curtis Granderson is one of the ultimate class acts to ever play the game, and it was a privilege to have him in a #Marlins uniform last season. There’s no doubt he’s going to make a huge impact in whatever his next chapter holds. Congrats on a great career. All the best, Grandy! https://t.co/I209ytbQps— Glenn Geffner (@GlennGeffner) January 31, 2020
They don’t make enough guys like @cgrand3. I said it many times on our broadcasts, when the @Marlins get to where they’re headed, Grandy’s fingerprints will be there. One season doesn’t seem like much to have an impact, but Curtis is different. He has been at every stop. https://t.co/e7SoT8pj4t— Paul Severino (@SeverinoMLB) January 31, 2020
Grandy won’t be disappearing from the public eye! ESPN has expressed interest in adding him to their baseball broadcasts, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. He previously gained some experience in that field as a postseason analyst for Turner Sports.
As for filling Granderson’s shoes on the 2020 Marlins roster, platoon specialist Matt Joyce has agreed to terms with the club on a one-year deal. That addition is expected to be finalized in the coming days.
It was reported by Jon Heyman early in the offseason that another former Fish veteran, Martín Prado, is expected to retire as well. But Prado still hasn’t formally announced his plans.