Growing up a baseball fan in Chicago there were two things you had to detest: the St. Louis Cardinals if you were a Cub fan and the Yankees if you were any sort of baseball fan. There are many players on those teams you can respect, admire or really envy. But between all their wins and the intense rivalry over the years, it's so much easier to just — dare I say it — hate them. The exception for me is if they were with the Cubs or the White Sox. Then they are given an exemption.
But now I have to come up with a new category of exceptions after spending time with Yankee centerfielder Curtis Granderson. This three-time All-Star was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and was dealt to New York three years ago. And, he is a true Chicagoan: He went to high school at Thornton Fractional South and played baseball at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Ever since he joined the majors, the word is that Granderson is one of the friendliest players around. It's true, and I found out first hand.