In a time where his teammate Alex Rodriguez is getting more attention for doing the wrong thing… AGAIN, New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson has given the media something positive to say about the Bronx bombers and MLB players in general. A graduate of University of Illinois-Chicago, Granderson always appreciated the opportunity the university provided him on and off the diamond and on February 6th it was announced that he would fund the development of the multi-million dollar baseball facility that would not only be home to the university’s baseball team but also various youth leagues in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s R-B-I (Reviving Baseball in the Inner-city) program and the Urban Youth Academy in the Chicago area . In addition to the athletic aspect of the programs, the Lynwood Illinois native will look to his alma-mater, where he dual majored in Business Administration and Business marketing, to help integrate an educational component into an already successful sports initiative that has seen more than 200 former participants get drafted into the majors with one of the most recognizable pupils being his Yankees teammate C.C Sabathia.
Granderson made the announcement during the inaugural UIC Diamond Dinner, where many came to not only celebrate the accomplishments of baseball program, but recognize his time as a member of the Flames baseball team by retiring his number 28 jersey. Many in attendance echoed the same sentiment in saying that the generous donation was indicative of the type of person Granderson is and was even during his days as a Flames super-star. UIC head baseball coach Mike Dee felt that “ this gift demonstrates where his heart is and his sense of social responsibility. I’m really proud of him as a person, and I’m proud he came from this program.”
Construction for the new stadium is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013 with a two-year timetable. The open-air, brick-and-stone-clad ballpark will allow flexibility and easy pedestrian movement. It will have 1,200 chair-back seats and two grassy berms for fan seating, plus one level of disability seating and another level with enhanced press amenities