Thu May 14 11:51am EDT
We played in Chicago last week, and with it being my hometown, it's always my favorite place to play during the season. My parents and a ton of my friends are still in Chicago. Some of my friends I've known since first grade, fourth grade and from high school are all still there. It's always great to head back and get to see them.
At the beginning of my career, my family and friends didn't understand that even though I was playing baseball in Chicago, that baseball is my job. People would invite me to come their houses for lunch or dinner, ask me stop by their kids' schools, come to their house and say hi, etc. I could do these things if I didn't have games to play, but since I did, I couldn't make the time to do it. Even now, I have to admit that it's kind of weird to come to my hometown, where I own a home and so many of my family own homes, and then stay in a hotel instead.
By now, my friends and family know the things I can and can't do. We usually meet up after the games to get dinner. One of my favorite things about Chicago is that a lot of places are open late to eat, some 24 hours, so I can always find good food with the people I am with. (Of course, we can always pop into The Fifty/50, which I am a part owner of, to get some food and drinks.) After the game, my parents usually will come down into the family waiting area and I'll see them and some extended family, too.
Even though Chicago is one of my favorite cities to come back and play in, there are a lot of things that I do miss out on throughout the course of the season in Chicago. This year for example I'm going to miss my high school's 10-year reunion. I'll also miss the "Taste of Chicago," the music festivals, the Air and Water Show, the summer in the city, and being in my house for more than four months out of the year, especially during the warmer months.
Believe me, I'm not complaining. I do miss those things, but those are sacrifices that come with playing baseball professionally. All things I know are sacrifices for playing baseball and I'm not complaining, but, just like everyone else, there are a few things I just miss about my hometown and favorite city.
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Curtis Granderson plays center field for the Detroit Tigers and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2009 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation.