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Grandy hosts clinic, encourages healthy lifestyle

New Dodgers OF leads kids through activities as Grand Kids Foundation extends to West Coast
Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Curtis Granderson is still getting settled in with the Dodgers, having joined the team a little over two weeks ago. But he didn't want to miss a chance to extend his Grand Kids Foundation to the West Coast with the season winding down.

With the help of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and 99 Cents Only Stores, he got his chance Tuesday. Granderson, last season's Roberto Clemente Award winner, made a trip to 112th Street Elementary School in Watts, where 99 kids were hosted for a playground clinic on the school's blacktop.

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LOS ANGELES -- Curtis Granderson is still getting settled in with the Dodgers, having joined the team a little over two weeks ago. But he didn't want to miss a chance to extend his Grand Kids Foundation to the West Coast with the season winding down.

With the help of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and 99 Cents Only Stores, he got his chance Tuesday. Granderson, last season's Roberto Clemente Award winner, made a trip to 112th Street Elementary School in Watts, where 99 kids were hosted for a playground clinic on the school's blacktop.

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"My time here is going to be brief, as of now, but any time you get a chance to work with a great group of kids and a great organization, like the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, it makes it easy to take the Grand Kids Foundation and spread it nationwide," Granderson said. "That's been the goal since we started the foundation 10 years ago."

Granderson got to check another major United States market off the foundation's list after spending six years in Detroit with the Tigers and eight years in New York split between time with the Mets and Yankees.

It was clear Granderson had an abundance of experience running clinics like Tuesday's. The 36-year-old outfielder exhibited as much enthusiasm as the elementary schoolers participating, leading groups through a Wiffle ball game, throwing accuracy drills and a speed circuit.

"It's always important to remember we were in these kids' shoes at some point in our life," Granderson said. "They need to know they can be in the same situation as a person like me -- playing in the Major Leagues -- if they can live a healthy life and have the backing of the community."

Granderson has immediately established himself with the Dodgers, belting four home runs through his first 15 games. That kind of production has brought a smile to 112th Street Elementary School principal Agustin Garcia, a lifelong Dodgers fan. But Granderson's contributions Tuesday brought an even greater smile to his face.

Video: LAD@ARI: Granderson belts a solo jack to right-center

"It's unbelievable," said Garcia, proudly sporting a Dodgers hat. "These kids kind of knew we were going to be doing something with the Dodgers, and it's always just amazing to see their faces light up when we can do an event like this."

The event was closed out by 99 Cents Only Stores senior marketing specialist Desiree Anderson showing the group how to make healthy smoothies.

"It's an opportunity to reach out and give these kids a chance to do something they wouldn't have access to otherwise," Anderson said. "Working with the Dodgers is just a perfect combination because we get to work hands on with the children in our communities."

Participants in Tuesday's event were students at 112th Street Elementary School and kids from the Urban Compass program, which provides after-school programming and enrichment for children in the Watts community.

"These programs believe -- like we do -- that being healthy and thinking about health is clearly important," Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation executive director Nichol Whiteman said while addressing the group of kids. "Clinics like these are a great way to take the steps to achieve those goals."

Ryan Posner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Curtis Granderson