06/30/2010 3:29 PM ET
Granderson: Comfy in pinstripes
Yankees center fielder says transition to N.Y. has been easy
I've been wearing this Yankee uniform now for a few months, and the transition has been real easy. The guys -- up and down the organization -- have been great, and they've been going out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I appreciate that.
This is the first time I've changed organizations. Up until the trade this past winter, I had only been a Detroit Tiger. I was raised through their farm system, and I came up and played at the big league level with guys I was drafted alongside.
Coming here, at first, I was thinking how new everything would be, but then I really started to think about it. Derek Jeter was a guy I played with at the World Baseball Classic. CC Sabathia was a guy I saw a whole lot when he was with Cleveland. Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez have always played in the American League, and Mark Teixeira has spent so much time in the AL, too. So even though I didn't know these guys well, I still knew them. I talk to a lot of guys on the opposing teams, so that helped ease the adjustment.
On the field, I was cognizant of not trying to do too much early, and just trying to be me. A good thing in coming to the Yankees was that they had just won the World Series. Yes, there's pressure to get back and to win it again, but in trading for me I was not seen as the piece. I was seen as a piece. So in that respect some pressure was alleviated for me.
At the same time, the expectation here is win and to win all the time. I look at that as good pressure. When I was a kid and I would follow my favorite teams, I wanted them to win. The same thing goes with the fans in New York City. Our team prepares itself so that we're in the best possible situation to win.
Off the field, I was aware of the different media pressures and attention that come with playing for the Yankees. What I've found so far is that it's not that much different than what I had experienced in Detroit. There's more media here on a daily basis, but we also had success in Detroit, and with success comes more attention, more scrutiny and more national TV games.
Coming here just wasn't a shocking situation for me. People I was talking to prior to coming to New York made it seem like it would be overwhelming. But I had dealt with large groups before as an All-Star, and while playing in the World Baseball Classic and in the World Series.
I'm not being recognized as much yet as I was in Detroit. Walking around in New York City, people will look at me, and I sense they're trying to figure out who I am because they've seen me on TV or at a game before, but they just can't quite get it. Then, randomly, someone will yell out my name.
On the charity front, one of my goals is to be as involved in New York as I was in Detroit and back home in Chicago. We've been trying to see what group matches up well what with we're trying to do as a charitable foundation. New York is so big, and so many different places need help, that we want to help out as many groups and people as we can.
We've done a school visit, and we're working with the New York City Marathon on a fundraising event in November, and we need to decide where to hold our fourth annual charity basketball game during the offseason. We've been approached by a lot of New York groups and charities, which is great, so now it is about deciding where to go and how to help.
Curtis Granderson is hitting .243 with seven homers, 22 runs batted in and six stolen bases for the Yankees this season. He has hit at least 22 homers the last three seasons, and off the field the center fielder is active in the community with his Grand Kids Foundation, which he established in 2008 in an effort to promote education.