Family Vacation Leads to Interview with Curtis Granderson for 10-Year Old Haley Smilow
Added by Gregg Snyder on November 22, 2011.
Being big baseball fans, the Smilow family took to the midwest this past summer, traveling to many baseball stadiums. Of course, they were following their favorite team, the New York Yankees.
Traveling by car from their home in New York City, the Smilow’s took in 26 games, 12 different teams and seven stadiums in a span of 31 days. Their trip consisted of cities like, Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Baltimore.
The Smilow family expressed how much fun this experience was and it’s something they will never forget, especially 10-year old Haley. Haley, a big Yankees fan, got the chance to sit down and interview New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson for Baseball Youth Magazine.
As you can expect, Haley and Curtis talked some baseball, but she also got extra insight into the centerfielders life and interests. Ever wanted to know Curtis’ favorite ballpark, mean, or even his favorite WWE wrestler? Well, Haley has those answers and more.
Double G Sports has the interview and you can read it by continuing below…
Haley: Do you have a favorite ballpark and why? Is there a ballpark where you feel you always play well other than Yankee Stadium?
Curtis: I like the Anaheim Angels stadium because it has good weather to play in, and the playing surface is well taken care of, making it a nice place to play ball. I also enjoy the Rally Monkey because he is fun to watch, but as a player, it means that the Angels are doing well. Other stadiums that I like to play in are Mariners Safeco Field and of course at home in Chicago at US Cellular Field and Wrigley.
Haley: Who has the best pizza in Chicago? What about New York? Do you like deep dish or tihn crust pizza?
Curtis: My favorite pizzerias in Chicago are Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s and Gino’s and in New York, Artichoke Basille’s. Sometimes I like Domino’s thin crust pizza because I like my crust crunchy. If I am really hungry, I will order deep dish.
Haley: Coney Island Hot Dogs or Nathan’s Hot Dogs?
Curtis: Since I played in Detroit, I would have to say Coney Island Hot Dogs.
Haley: What is your favorite meal?
Curtis: I really love Thanksgiving dinner because you get to eat a little bit of everything, and you can go back over and over for more helpings.
Haley Smilow at Yankee Stadium
Haley: My little brother is a fan of WWE, and I heard you are as well. Who are some of your favorite wrestlers?
Curtis: Of course, I like CM Punk because he is a great wrestler and from Chicago. John Cena is another favorite. I also like the Divas because they work hard and are as good as the guys.
Haley: In your book, All You Can Be: Dream It, Draw It, Become It, you share the lessons you learned growing up. What is one lesson you would tell Baseball Youth readers if they haven’t read the book?
Curtis: The selection of friends, good and bad, positive and negative, and the people you surround yourself with will shape your whole life.
Haley: I also know you are an ambassador for MLB and have traveled to England, Italy, South Africa, China and New Zealand. Is there any place you would really like to go and represent MLB?
Curtis: I have never been to South America so that would be amazing. I would also like to go to Japan and Australia. Those would be on my top three list.
Haley: Do you have any rituals or superstitions?
Curtis: I only chew sugar free bubble gum. (To Haley): Do you like gum? Make sure you take a hand full when you leave the dugout.
Haley: When you are on the road do you share rooms with your teammates?
Curtis: In the majors we get our own rooms. In the minors we share rooms. I used to share with Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya, and David Espinosa.
Haley: AJ Burnett has created a celebration for a walk-off win, a pie in the face. Have you ever gotten pied?
Curtis: No, I have not been pied. If I get pied it means we won, but I am afraid it will burn. (The pies are shaving cream.)
Haley: Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been with on a team? Have you ever been the victim of a practical joke?
Curtis: Brandon Inge on the Tigers will do funny pranks, silly ones, and even some gross ones. We had a little battle going when I played for Detroit. Once I opened his car and filled it with paper and construction tape making it a big mess inside the car and out. Jorge Posadais a real joker as well.
Haley: In 2007, you became just one of four players in MLB history to record 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in a single season. What are some of your other accomplishments you are proud of?
Curtis: Graduating from University of Illinois-Chicago and that I am one of only 37 players with college degrees. (And) making it to the 2006 World Series.
Haley: Do you have any other favorite sports besides baseball?
Curtis: I like basketball, especially college ball. I also like hockey, football, and bowling, and I used to run cross country.
Haley: Who would you consider your closest friend on the Yankees?
Curtis: Of course, I have a special bond with my fellow outfielders Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. But I also like to hang out with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Russell Martin. We go out to dinner and movies together.
Check out Haley and her family’s travels around the country as they visit Major League cities. Log on to Wix.com/Smilow/Home-Field-Advantage to check out photos, read reviews, and get food recommendations.
Haley’s interview with Curtis Granderson is also featured on Baseball Youth and their facebook page. Check it out, a great site!