Curtis Granderson Can Count the Amount of Black Fans at Baseball Games

Baseball lacks a strong presence in the African American community. Many black athletes choose to play more glamorous sports like football and basketball, and that’s part of the reason the interest in baseball amongst African Americans is not that strong. We’ve touched on this point in the past when Orlando Hudson said there’s no place in baseball for black bench players (though he is wrong), and when he said free agents were blackballed because of race.

Baseball is a democratic game that works as a meritocracy; if you’re good, teams want you and will pay for your services. The problem is not enough of the best black athletes choose to play baseball, meaning the game isn’t as good as it can be. Not only is there a shortage of black players, there is also a shortage of black fans.

In an interview published Sunday, Yankees gregarious All-Star center fielder Curtis Granderson bemoaned the lack of African-American fans at baseball games.

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Curtis Granderson Donates 300 Bats to Public Schools Athletic League

Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson does a lot more than belt home runs, chase down fly balls, and join the Golden Sombrero Club.  Since he started the Grand Kids Foundation during his days in Detroit, the Grandy Man has been known for his work in the community, particularly among local youth.  Last week, Granderson donated 300 Louisville Sluggers to the Public Schools Athletic League.  Because of his donation, high schoolers who can’t afford equipment will be able to play baseball this season.

“It’s great to get a chance to see how much of an impact you can make on kids,” Granderson told the New York Yankees. “It’s amazing that I’m very similar to all the teachers and the social workers and the principals here, but the attention that the kids will give once they see, ‘Hey, this is a famous person coming in’ … They always just kind of perk up and listen a little more, so given that opportunity, I try to take advantage of it as best I can.”

Granderson said he chose to donate bats to the Bronx students because he always hears about kids not playing baseball or softball because they can’t afford the equipment.  Aluminum bats can cost upwards of $200, so Granderson figured a few hundred bats would give plenty of students the opportunity to play with limited funds.

It’s easy to look at a charitable donation like the one the Grandy Man made and think to yourself, “good, they have millions of dollars and should be doing that stuff.”  While that’s probably true, there are plenty of players out there who don’t bother making the effort.  Even as a Red Sox fan, Del is willing to give credit where credit is due.

Pic via Yankees.com

Curtis Granderson Joins the Golden Sombrero Club

A big hearty thank you goes out to Signal over at Signal to Noise , one of the finer and longer-standing sites in the sports blogosphere, for passing along the tip. I am proud to announce that Curtis Granderson has become the second player this year to join the LBS Golden Sombrero Club since its inception on Wednesday. Carlos Pena was the inaugural member, taking the collar against A.J. Burnett of the Blue Jays. On Thursday, Tigers extraordinary CF Curtis Granderson had the inauspicious honor of K’ing four times against the Red Sox in a 5-1 loss.

Granderson punched out in the 1st and 3rd, and ended both the 4th and 7th innings with strikeouts. All four times Granderson went down hacking, all four times against Josh Beckett — certainly a respectable opponent not to be ashamed of. Though as Signal points out, leadoff hitters aren’t supposed to do that. So even if you’re Richie Sexson and you can’t hit water if you fell out of a boat, be happy that you weren’t Curtis Granderson on Thursday.

And for all it’s worth, I happen to think highly of Granderson as a ballplayer. He’s one of the top centerfielders in the game and has provided quite a spark to the Tigers since coming off the DL. He’s a good guy and he’ll definitely have brighter days ahead of him. After all, can’t get much worse after Thursday. I kid Curtis, I kid.

Remember, if you see a player who has taken the Golden Sombrero in a ballgame, please email in the news. Also feel free to include an image of a sombrero of your choice, and both your name and sombrero will be featured on the site. Thanks