A Yankee Goes Home

Chicago native Curtis Granderson has planned a hometown treat for his New York Yankees treammates on Wednesday–a catered clubhouse feast courtesy of the Fifty/50 sports-themed restaurant on West Division St. in which Granderson is an investor.

“They’re excited. I told them some good food is coming,” Granderson said.

Granderson already has delivered for the Yankees in big ways.

The product of Thornton Fractional South and UIC ranks fourth in the majors in home runs with 32, with 11 homers off left-handed pitching–he bats left-handed. He has a major league-high 27 homers off left-handed pitching since the start of 2011.

Granderson, 31, is the first Yankees outfielder to hit at least 30 homers in consecutive seasons since Dave Winfield in 1982 and 1983, according to Elias, Inc. He has hit at least 20 homers at home in each of the last two seasons, becoming the first Yankee left-handed hitter to do so since Bill Dickey in 1937-38.

“He’s done well for us,” manager Joe Girardi said of Granderson, in his third season with the Yankees after six with the Detroit Tigers, the organization that drafted him. “You look at the runs scored and the number of home runs. We have a lot of tough left-handed pitchers in our division, so it’s not like he hasn’t faced them.”

Granderson will face Sox lefty Chris Sale on Wednesday, a first-time meeting between the two.

“I don’t like to watch video on a pitcher because the angles may not be the best. I can’t do anything until I step into the box and see him. The test comes in facing him,” Granderson said.

Granderson still makes his home in the Chicago area, and family and friends always are on hand when he is in town. On Monday, a contingency from UIC attended the game.

“It’s always good to come back home,” he said. “The fact I went to high school and college here, a lot of [friends] happen to be Cubs or White Sox fans, so there’s always a good buzz coming home.”

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