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Young Mets thankful for Grandy's mentorship

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson's nameplate that hung above his locker in the corner of the Mets' room rested on a table about 20 feet outside the doors that led to the clubhouse. Granderson, who was traded to the postseason-bound Dodgers after the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Marlins on Friday, will not be walking through those doors anytime soon. His teammates know that, but Granderson's presence and impact, especially on the younger players, will still be felt.

In the minutes after learning Granderson had been dealt, Michael Conforto stood at his locker, clearly upset he was losing a close friend and mentor. But ever since Conforto reached the Majors in 2015, he watched how Granderson handled his business.

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NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson's nameplate that hung above his locker in the corner of the Mets' room rested on a table about 20 feet outside the doors that led to the clubhouse. Granderson, who was traded to the postseason-bound Dodgers after the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Marlins on Friday, will not be walking through those doors anytime soon. His teammates know that, but Granderson's presence and impact, especially on the younger players, will still be felt.

In the minutes after learning Granderson had been dealt, Michael Conforto stood at his locker, clearly upset he was losing a close friend and mentor. But ever since Conforto reached the Majors in 2015, he watched how Granderson handled his business.

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"I know for all the young guys here, I know Grandy's played a part in everybody's development," Conforto said. "So it's tough. It's definitely tough.

"He's been here since I've been here. He's been a positive, just, energy throughout the time that I've been here. That's the best way I can put it. He comes to the field with that same attitude every day."

Tweet from @Mets: For all you do on and off the field, we can't thank you enough. You're a true class act @cgrand3! #ThankYouCurtis pic.twitter.com/yMO5wmoAwr

The biggest takeaway Conforto has from being around Granderson is that "attitude."

"It's just positivity," Conforto said. "From the moment he walks in the door, he'll have a rough day and he'll be upset about it, but he's the same guy every single day, every minute of every day. And I think that's something I really take from him, we can all take from him. He's the same guy if he goes 0-for-4 or he goes 4-for-4. He's just one of those special people."

Much like Conforto, Brandon Nimmo immediately gravitated toward Granderson, a fellow outfielder who he says showed him how to handle himself both on and off the field like a professional. This year, their lockers were situated near each other and the two shared a long embrace late Friday night.

"[He] just kind of set that example of the way a guy can balance success on the field with being really good with the fans and also just very humble off the field," Nimmo said. "He was a great mentor to me."

Mets manager Terry Collins saw the impact Granderson had on younger players like Conforto and Nimmo up close. Granderson's mentorship skills impressed him but did not surprise him.

"The impact he made with others in that clubhouse, it's something tough to replace," Collins said. "He's one of the best guys I've ever been around. We'll miss him."

Tweet from @Mets: A special message to #Mets fans from @cgrand3! #ThankYouCurtis pic.twitter.com/uhwLWhm44x

Granderson's departure, along with the trades of Jay Bruce and Neil Walker, have left a void in the clubhouse. But Nimmo feels that the wisdom they imparted during their tenures with the Mets will help this suddenly young team in the final months of this season and into 2018.

"Obviously, losing those guys, you do lose a little bit, but their presence here, how they went about things, is still here," Nimmo said. "We were here to experience it. It's not just totally new guys. We know how veterans should handle themselves."

Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Mets