Grady’s got it all

At the young age of 23, Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore has been invited to his very first MLB All-Star Game. Sizemore, who enters the break batting .291 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI, will be the Indians’ lone representative for the American League team. In addition, he also leads the league in runs scored and extra-base hits. It’s been a disappointing season thus far for Grady’s Tribe, but Indians fans can be proud of his accomplishments and his All-Star selection.

Ever since he broke into the majors, Sizemore has become a fan favorite in Cleveland because of his constant hustle on the field. He’s an extremely talented athlete, one who almost went to the University of Washington on a football scholarship. The Indians are happy he made the right decision by sticking to baseball. They got him, along with Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips, from Montreal in a 2002 trade for Bartolo Colon. With his athletic ability and all-out playing style, it’s easy to see why the Indians were so high on this kid at the time. Four years later, Grady is an All-Star and one of the center pieces of the Indians’ future. He may be a laid-back guy off the field, but once he steps on the baseball diamond, Sizemore plays every game like it’s his last.

“I like to play that way,” he said. “I like to give it my all every day. I just love being a baseball player. It’s a great job to have. I wouldn’t have it any other way – to get to compete at the professional level every day.”

Indians third base coach Jeff Datz loves what Sizemore brings to the table.

“He can impact the game in so many ways,” said Datz. “He’s in scoring position when he’s at the plate because he can hit one out at anytime. Or he can hit one into the gap for a double or triple. If he hits a single or walks, he can steal second. He can take away base hits in the outfield with his speed and his glove. He’s absolutely fearless in the outfield. He’ll run into walls to catch a ball. He doesn’t care. And he’s so smart he always knows where to position himself. I rarely have to move him.”

In today’s modern era, it’s refreshing to see an athlete who puts the money and fame secondary to the love of the game. Grady, with his long-term deal, is financially set for awhile but does not let that get in the way of his play on the field. So many times we see athletes in all sports relax and dog it once they land that big-money contract. But not Grady. Tribe fans can’t help but be excited about the attitude of this kid. He plays hard to the final out and is a tremendous talent in the batter’s box as well as in center field. At 23, Grady will undoubtedly find himself in plenty more All-Star Games for the rest of his career.

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