Curtis Granderson

Only four players in baseball history have accumulated at least 20 doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases in the same season. Frank Schulte was the first, Willie Mays the second, George Brett the third, and Curtis Granderson accomplished it in 2007.

Granderson won the starting center field job with the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and his timing proved to be perfect – the team won the pennant and advanced to the World Series. That season “Grandy” hit 19 home runs as a leadoff man, and he improved on those power totals during his six seasons as a Tiger, ultimately hitting 30 in his final season in Detroit. He was traded to the New York Yankees in a three-team, seven-player deal after the 2009 season. The Tigers received center fielder Austin Jackson and pitchers Max Scherzer, Phil Coke, and Daniel Schlereth in the transaction. Since going to New York, Granderson has gone on to take advantage of the short right field dimensions at Yankee Stadium, but his average has dipped and his on-base percentage has been about the same. The deal has been criticized by some Tigers fans, but given that Detroit received a starting pitcher who has won 12 and 15 games in his first two seasons in Motown, and that Jackson has become a better defensive center fielder than Granderson was (while slowly improving his offense), the deal seems to have worked out for both clubs.

Granderson is one of the most well-liked and respected players in the game, and he’s served as an ambassador for baseball on trips to Europe and Asia in his short career.