Visiting Bermuda with Curtis Granderson

January 6, 2013 — I have spent the first few days of 2013 in Bermuda. I’ve been on the 22-mile island, working on a feature story about Curtis Granderson, which will be published in the May Issue of Yankees Magazine.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism recently purchased a print advertising package in all New York Yankees 2013 official publications, and they invited me to the island for a long weekend. The department of tourism also asked me to extend the invitation to any Yankees player.

Granderson, who has traveled to New Zealand, Korea, Panama, South Africa, Taiwan and several countries in Europe over the last few years, was the first player I reached out to, and he gladly accepted the invitation.

Granderson and a small group of his friends; my family and I; and Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello arrived in Bermuda on Jan. 3, and before we began enjoying the relaxing vacation, we got to work on my feature story.

Within an hour of checking into Tucker’s Point resort, Petrozzello took a portrait of Granderson in front of a 20-foot waterfall that sits at the mid-way point of a nature trail on the grounds of the resort (see photo below). Petrozzello then shot a second portrait of Granderson a few feet away from the nature trail.

For that photo, Granderson stood in between two long rows of palm trees and in front of the sea.

After those two photo shoots, we got on golf carts and drove to the Mid Ocean Club beach, which features some of the most breathtaking views I saw on the island.

There are several large and small rock structures in the area where the sand meets the ocean, and we asked Granderson to walk up to a plateau on one of those structures for what will be the opening spread photo of the feature. Petrozzello climbed about half way to where Granderson stood and took what may very well be one of the most spectacular photos Yankees Magazine has published.

In the portrait, Granderson is looking out onto the ocean (which sits about 40 feet below him) and he is illuminated by the sun and draped with a cloud cover that looks too beautiful to actually be real.

After those photos were taken, our plan was to walk up to a patio at the Mid Ocean Club, so that I could interview Granderson for the story. But as we walked down a small path on the rock structure, Granderson came up with a better idea.

“Let’s do the interview on the beach,” he said. “Those rocks look like a better option than any chairs we’re going to sit on.”

I gladly took Granderson’s suggestion and conducted a lengthy interview with him in a most unique location (see photo below).

In the interview, Granderson spoke candidly about his expectations for the 2013 season.

“I’m very excited about this season,” he said. “We’re used to being the team that everyone expects to see in the World Series, but going into this season, that’s not the case. I am really motivated by that, and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

The centerfielder, whose 2012 season ended with a hitless performance in the ALCS, also discussed how that series has shaped his off-season focus.

“I have struck out before, and I’m going to strike out again,” Granderson said. “That’s going to happen, but I still want to be the guy that comes to the plate when the game is on the line, and I worked as hard on the mental aspects of the game this offseason as the physical aspects.

“I went back to the basics,” Granderson continued. “I’m put a lot of effort toward not chasing pitches out of the strike zone, and I’ve studied what opposing pitchers have done to try to get me out. In 2013, I plan to be more aggressive, as well. Some of best times to hit are early in the count, and one of the best ways to eliminate strikeouts is to avoid hitting with two strikes. That’s something I think I will be better at in the future.”

Lastly, Granderson, whose 84 home runs over the past two seasons has led the majors, spoke about how his game has evolved.

“I hit three home runs in my first minor league season, and at that time, I could have never envisioned that I would be looked at as a power hitter,” Granderson said. “People say that power comes as you get older, and I’m a living testament of that happening.”

I will be posting a few more entries on this blog about the great experiences on this trip over the next few days, so please stay tuned.

–Alfred Santasiere III

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1 Comment

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