Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets has won this year’s Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. Phi Delta Theta presents the award annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, a member of the Fraternity’s Columbia University chapter. The award was first presented in 1955 and is permanently maintained at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. A team of representatives from Phi Delta Theta will present the award to Granderson on September 19 prior to the Mets game against the Atlanta Braves at 7:10p.m. at Citi Field in Queens, NY.
A three-time All-Star and 2011 Silver Slugger Award Winner, Curtis Granderson served as a key member of the 2015 National League Champions Mets, finishing the regular season with 26 home runs, a career-high 91 walks and a team-high .364 on-base percentage. Granderson’s dominance continued in the postseason, where he started in all 14 of the Mets’ postseason games, hitting .283 (15-53) with three home runs, 12 RBI and nine walks. Over the course of his 12-year major league career, Granderson has amassed a .341 career on-base percentage, with 263 home runs, 742 RBI and 684 walks.
In addition to his accomplishments on the baseball diamond, Curtis Granderson’s determination and commitment to philanthropy in his communities makes him a worthy recipient of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. In 2007, Curtis Granderson founded the Grand Kids Foundation, an organization built to inspire and encourage positive youth development via education, physical fitness and nutrition. During the 2015 season, the foundation worked with the YMCA to host a clinic during Spring Training, sponsoring a winter youth clinic. In addition, it hosted the inaugural Grand Kids Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” Creative Expressions Competition (in partnership with Abraham Lincoln High School) resulting in 2,500 student essays, poems and artwork honoring Dr. King by exemplifying their “dream.” Each year, Granderson hosts a number of annual community programs in New York, Detroit, Port St. Lucie, and Chicago, including school visits in which he speaks about the value of education.
Curtis Granderson Stadium is located at the University of Illinois at Chicago, his alma mater. Granderson personally donated $5 million to develop the state-of-the art facility that supports inner city youth, the largest known one-time donation by a professional athlete. The stadium is home to the university and 38 local little leagues. In total, 10,000 inner-city kids use the stadium year-round.
Granderson was named among the finalists for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award. In 2009, he was honored with the Marvin Miller Award for his work on and off the field and was also honored with the 2009 Jefferson Award for Public Service from All-Stars Helping Kids. He has been nominated twice for the Branch Rickey Award to recognize professionals in MLB for exceptional community service and has acted as the official spokesman for the White House’s anti-obesity campaign, working with First Lady Michelle Obama. He also serves as a captain for MLBPA Action Teams that work with Volunteers of America to encourage youth to volunteer within their communities.
Curtis is the second member of the New York Mets to win the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. Pitcher John Franco won the award in 2001. For detailed information about the history of the award, visit http://museum.phideltatheta.org/lou-gehrig-award/