Granderson's 20th steal puts Tigers center fielder in select company
DETROIT -- Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson joined Willie Mays and Frank "Wildfire" Schulte as the only players in major league history with 20 stolen bases, 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles.
Granderson stole his 20th base Sunday in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners, and received a rousing, standing ovation from fans in the stands and teammates in the dugout at Detroit's Comerica Park. He acknowledged fans by nodding his head and waving his hand in each direction of the ballpark.
"It's been crazy, the past couple weeks as people have been talking about it and I've been learning more about it," Granderson said after Seattle beat Detroit 14-7. "When it finally happened, it was great. I thank the crowd for their reaction, and my teammates as well.
"I'm glad it's finally over. Now, we have to go ahead and try to get to the playoffs."
The defending AL champions trail the New York Yankees by four games in the wild-card race, and are one game ahead of Seattle.
Schulte was the first to accomplish the feat in 1911 while playing for the Chicago Cubs, and Mays did it in 1957 with the New York Giants.
Granderson is awed by earning a spot in baseball history next with Mays.
"It's amazing just to be mentioned in the same breath with him, being the baseball icon that he is," Granderson said. "But I still have a long way to go to continue to be mentioned in a lot of categories with him."
Granderson has 22 triples -- the most by a Tiger since Ty Cobb had 24 in 1917 -- and 36 doubles. He hit his 20th homer Friday, becoming the sixth player since 1900 in the 20-20-20 club and the first since Kansas City's George Brett in 1979.
Schulte and Granderson are the only two players in baseball history with at least 30 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 20 homers and 20 triples. Schulte finished with 30 doubles, 23 stolen bases, 21 home runs and 21 triples nearly a century ago.
In just his second full season in the majors, the likable Granderson has become a favorite of fans, teammates and manager Jim Leyland.
"He's a class act, all the way," Leyland said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press