Granderson and Jackson — Two of a Kind

October 3, 2011 — You may remember that the Yankees traded centerfielder Austin Jackson to Detroit (along with other players) for Curtis Granderson in 2009. Granderson and Jackson have both been successful in their first two season with their respective teams and both players have spoke highly each other, which has come as no surprise to me.

Granderson is among the most respected players in the game for his play and for the way he carries himself on and off the field. Jackson’s career is just beginning, but I am confident he will someday be known as one of baseball’s good guys, as well.

When Jackson was in the minors, I had lunch with him at the famous Anchor Bar in Buffalo New York.  I was traveling with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees for a Yankees Magazine story about life in the minors, and I was also intent on getting to know Jackson, because I expected that he would become a major league star.

Jackson was easy-going and was as interested in learning about life in the minors from a front office executive as I was in learning about the life of a highly-rated prospect.

When I left the team at the end of the week, I told Jackson how impressed I was with his humility, and I added, “When you become a star, don’t change.”

When Jackson was introduced tonight, I realized that he hasn’t changed. As Jackson jogged toward the third base line, he looked toward Granderson and tipped his cap. Granderson responded by tipping his cap to Jackson. In my opinion, it was an act that showcased the mutual respect the two have for each other and the humility that embodies both players.

I was impressed by the gesture, but again, I wasn’t surprised.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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