Dodgers OF Curtis Granderson reflected on his time with the Yankees in his latest Players' Tribune article.
Granderson, who was recently traded from the Mets to the Dodgers, looked back on his time with both New York teams. With the Yankees specifically, he recalled his first game in 2010.
Not only was Granderson joining the defending World Series champions, but he had to play in Fenway Park against the Red Sox in his first time wearing a Yankees uniform. He had only heard about the rivalry, but it was Yankees captain SS Derek Jeter that made him truly understand what it meant to the fans.
"I had heard all about the Red Sox fans, and the anti-Yankees chants, and the fights that would sometimes happen," Granderson wrote. "Then, before we got up there, Derek Jeter told me this story about how he ordered a pizza to his hotel room in Boston one time a few years back, and the pizza place spelled out, "Go, Pedro" with the pepperoni."
"You've never seen anything like this rivalry," Jeter said. "You'll understand soon enough."
Granderson had a rough spring training as he didn't hit a single home run. However, in his first at-bat, he connected for his first homer as a Yankee.
"With that, all the nerves and fear went away, and everything about playing in New York became so much fun," Granderson said.
Off the field, Granderson thanks New York for embracing his Grand Kids Foundation and working with him to get kids from all five boroughs to games as well as camps and clinics across the city.
He also couldn't forget to leave out his former teammate, who he says had a lasting impression on him.
"I got to play alongside some of the best people I've ever met -- Derek, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and so many others. And I got to see firsthand the passion and pride that Yankees fans bring to every single game."
The 36-year-old is now with a contender on the west coast, but New York will always have a special place in his heart.
"I have been extremely fortunate to play baseball in New York for the past eight years," Granderson said. "It has been my honor, and a privilege, to go out on the field every day and give it my all for the wonderful people of a city that will always be special to me. I've had the time of my life."
Granderson played with the Yankees from 2010-2013. In that span, he amassed 115 homers with two 40-plus seasons in that category (2011,2012). Overall, Granderson hit .245 with 307 RBIs in 513 games.