An All-Star Game for Granderson’s ‘kids’

Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson, who returned to the lineup Friday night in San Diego, and his Grand Kids Foundation will play host to the inaugural Grand Kids Little League All-Star Game Aug. 8 at the Lansing, Ill., Sports Complex.

The All-Star festivities will start Monday at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field for the Yankees’ game against the White Sox where Granderson will run a pre-game, meet-and-greet with the 36 Little Leaguers, ages 10 to 12, from Lansing and Lynwood, Ill., Granderson’s hometown. The kids will later watch the game as Granderson’s guests.

Curtis played his youth league baseball in the Lansing Babe Ruth League and prep baseball at Thornton Fractional South High School. The Grand Kids Little League All Star Game is structured to enhance youth little league participation in both Lynwood and Lansing with the underlying goal of encouraging physical fitness behaviors.

“It’s important to get kids active at an early age,” Granderson said. “The [Grand Kids] All-Star Game will allow me an opportunity to give back to my hometown league(s) where I not only started my baseball career but developed fundamental on- and off-the-field skills.”

In partnership with Lynwood and Lansing Little League baseball coaches and administration, players were selected for only their performance but also their dedication and good sportsmanship.

“It’s a reward for those kids who show a passion for and loyalty to the game,” Lansing Babe Ruth Baseball president Rick Seymour said. “They’re getting a taste of what it’s like to be an All-Star.”

Granderson recently made a personal donation of $5 million to his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago, for the development of Curtis Granderson Stadium, which will be utilized for local youth teams and organizations. The project is expected to begin in the fall.

Established in 2007, the Grand Kids Foundation focuses on improving the educational experience for youth nationwide. In 2009, Granderson released a children’s book, “All You Can Be,” which shares personal stories from his youth encouraging children to chase after their dreams. Proceeds from the book benefit the Grand Kids Foundation.

Additionally, Granderson serves as a national ambassador of the White House’s anti-obesity campaign, Let’s Move! The Grand Kids Foundation has zero operation costs. Every penny donated to the Grand Kids Foundation goes back into the education of our nation’s youth.

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