Curtis Granderson, 27-year old outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, represents Major League Baseball as an ambassador for MLB International. He has travelled to places like China, Italy, and South Africa, representing the face of America's pastime.
Commissioner Bud Selig wrote a letter to Granderson, thanking him for his personal convictions in his own life, and for what he has done for the sport.
"There are so many fine young men playing Major League baseball today, but I can think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you," Selig told Granderson in his letter.
The Chicago-area native is a great leader for the Tigers' organization on and off the field.
In addition to a .310 batting average, leading the league in triples (23), and finishing 10th in AL MVP voting in 2007, Granderson recently started his own foundation, which focuses on education.
The Grand Kids Foundation, which was established in 2008, holds a variety of events, sponsorships, and donations each year. Curtis' mission is to enforce educational initiatives to youth, and to help bring the sport of baseball back to the nation's inner cities.
Granderson, who also served as a studio analyst for TBS when the Tigers missed the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, focused his foundation initially on the urban areas of Detroit and Flint, Michigan. These are inner-city districts that have been troublesome for youth and education for quite some time.
If anything, the American League All-Star does too much outside of the baseball diamond. However, his active involvement in the community doesn't seem to have slowed his play, as he is scheduled to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March.
In actuality—Sam Abrams, the team's manager of player relations, once said, "The more Curtis does in the community, the better he plays."
Is Alex Rodriguez reading this article? I sure hope so.