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TSL High Heat: The Rainmaker 

The RainmakerGranderson never grandstands, he just slams hands, spreads the words of a wise man and encouraging veteran.

The Rainmaker

Granderson never grandstands, he just slams hands, spreads the words of a wise man and encouraging veteran.

Never seeking praise but always speaking for the brigade, hes truly blossomed and come of age.

In all his glory he’s the living image of a story


My pops and grandpa reveled in before me 


When Willie Mays was basket-catchin’ and Hank Aaron was ball blastin’

Lou Brock was base-dumpin’ 

And Bob Gibson was head-huntin’


The color of a game who made it’s dollar off diversity 

The consummate pro, keeps a low-cut fro and did his education flow at UIC


Consistent like his father Curtis who was a dean.

Intellect like his mom Mary, who taught chemistry  

His sister Monica is an English professor.

Its clear he had priorities straight as an adolescent.

He was a basketball player too, two-sports with polish



But he dropped the hoops for the diamond two weeks into college


Drafted by Detroit in 2002 he quickly flashed his skills

Speed, power and a winning attitude started paying the bills

He learned to play the game and compete for a title.

He was a key piece in the Detroit Tigers baseball revival.


He hit triples as often as strippers expose nipples

They hit the outfield like heat-seeking missiles

Then he took the next step and wore the Yankees pinstripes

Quiet but deadly — and had his share of highlights.


Another high-paid talent for Titletown USA


Smashed over 100 homers, got injured and quietly went away.

There was already a captains meter named Jeter

So despite Grandersons  positive influence as a spiritual leader

He kept his head down and played his position.

Getting his paper and completing the mission.



The Yankees are molded and cemented in a tradition that doesnt waiver from ones disposition.

So Granderson hit 40 blasts and set the Bronx on fire


Missing the World Series by one season, despite his desire.

A free agent with offers after the 2013 season.

The lure of New York was too strong and he couldnt find a reason;



Not to take his talents to Flushing, a struggling Mets franchise   

He could be the big-name piece that means bigger business in the fans eyes

No bravado. No ego. No off-field issues.

Just professionalism and effort.

A modern day Jackie Robinson with his presence and intelligence.



Not as a barrier-breaker of racism, but an example of why diversity is relevant.

And the Mets had lost their way and some money along the way.

So desperation may have sealed the deal but it still marked a new day.

When Curtis signed for $60 mill, the front office really came off.

Integrity had returned to Citi Field erasing the past ghosts of Madoff.



He took the plunge that lit the flame of possibilities found at Shea.

The little boy from Illinois came to Queens to make it rain.  

Smashing balls off the wall


He stands no taller than Chris Paul

But doesnt fall in a misconception with self-centered jerks


For all his dominance on the field Grandersons truth is his charitable works.

Every community hes entered from D-Town to The Rotten Apple.

He always has time for fans, the press and embraces the hassle.

Hes dealing.

Especially African-American kids who have lost that loving feeling (for the game)


When endorsed by Nike and Louisville Slugger he didnt want the paper


Donating the checks to his Grand Kids Foundation would be doing HIM a favor.

Hes written childrens books so dope and been a glimmer of hope.

Hes walking karma

Spearheading child obesity campaigns with Michelle Obama.



An ambassador for baseball across the globe and for inner-city children.

Theres an heir of professionalism that tickles the soul whenever he steps in the building

He helped change the Mets from laughing jokes —

To serious ball busters dressed in orange and blue cloaks


Grim reaping on MLBs best when they tote (a rubber)


Last years joke, became this years G.O.A.T.

They asked him why he came here and ridiculed his choices

But he kept it real and said he was hearing voices.

Telling him the Mets were coming out. They were purged.  

And a calvary of golden arms emerged to lead the surge.



When Captain David Wright was removed from battle.

Granderson assumed the mantle.


Hed played with the pressure of winning with the Tigers

And theres no more live wire than a Yankees playoff riot

So starting at the bottom was an appealing prospect, because in essence the Mets became The Curtis Granderson Project



At least they went out and paid some money for a slugger

The sixth heartbeat of another NY come up.

Then the pieces fell in place for the three-time all-star player.

He found a House of Love

Elevating from game-breaker to omniscient soothsayer.



His signing was to appease the Mets fans.

Those foaming with baseball rabies.  

Dejected and deprived of a chip since the 80s.

The only cure ownership offered was a lot of maybes

They had to be cool and wait for the birth of  Omar Minayas babies.


Sandy made sure the eggs were safe

Until Thor, The Dark Knight and the like, could be released from the cage.

Grandys gamble was correct and Cespedes came later,


The young arms are now the best staff from here to the Himalayas.

A touch of Terry Collins sauce and the influx of a few veteran players.



Tell your neighbor

The Mets are four games away from a ticker tape parade with The Mayor.

Grandersons a baller who respects the game and says his prayers.

To the baseball gods who blessed the Mets and said, Here this is your year.

Yeah.


JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He began working in major newspapers in 1995 and has covered a cornucopia of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

Gamble has covered World Series, Super Bowls, NBA and MLB All-Star Games, Final Fours, World Cup, NASCAR events and done hundreds of exclusive interviews over the years. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.