The reigning National League-champion Mets are headed to the postseason for the second consecutive year after winning the first NL Wild Card. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here’s our attempt to learn the origins of veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson.

Curtis Granderson, OF
Born: Blue Island, Ill.
DOB: 3/16/81
HS: Thornton Fractional South (Lansing, Ill.) High School
College: University of Illinois at Chicago
Minors: Oneonta (A-), Lakeland (A+), Erie (AA), Toledo (AAA)

Path to New York: Was a third-round selection of the Tigers in the 2002 Draft; traded as part of a three-team trade by the Tigers to the Yankees in ’09; signed with the Mets as a free agent in ’13.

Before they were postseason-bound

Trophy case: Three-time All-Star (2009, 2011-12), Silver Slugger Award winner (2011).

Famous feat(s): With the Tigers in 2007, Granderson became one of four players in Major League history to record 20 homers, 20 triples, 20 doubles and 20 steals in a single season. The others are Frank Schulte (1911), Willie Mays (1957) and Jimmy Rollins, also in 2007.

You might not know: Granderson has played in 50 playoff games over his career, the most of any current Mets player. He’s been to the World Series twice — once with the Tigers in 2006 and again with the Mets last season.

Six degrees of Willie Aikens: Granderson works out at UIC in the offseason with fellow Chicago-area big leaguers Luke Gregerson and George Kontos. UIC’s home ballpark, Curtis Granderson Stadium, is named after the Mets outfielder.

Ambassador for the game: Known for his charitable nature and charismatic personality, Granderson has represented MLB in various international endeavors. He served as an ambassador on baseball’s ventures to Europe, South Africa, China and Taiwan.

College excellence: Granderson ranked second among all NCAA Division I players with a .483 average as a junior at UIC. He holds the school’s all-time record for runs scored (178).

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Mets News / Before he was postseason-bound: Curtis Granderson