Grady Sizemore III (born August 2, 1982) is a Major League Baseball center fielder for the Cleveland Indians. A fan favorite in Cleveland, Sizemore was acquired from the Montreal Expos in Template:Mlby along with Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, and Lee Stevens in exchange for Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew.
Sizemore graduated from Cascade High School in Everett, Washington, in 2000. A high school star in football, basketball, and baseball, Sizemore signed a letter of intent to play football and baseball at the University of Washington. At the time of his high school graduation, Sizemore was Cascade's all-time leader in rushing yards with 3,081 yards and interceptions with 16.
The Expos selected Sizemore in the third round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft. The team offered him a $2 million signing bonus to lure him away from college, to which Sizemore agreed. Sizemore was called a superstar by White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén and has been given the nickname "Superman".
On June 27, 2002, Sizemore was part of a six-player trade between the Indians and the Expos. Montreal dealt Sizemore, along with Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Lee Stevens to Cleveland in exchange for Bartolo Colón and Tim Drew.
In Template:Mlby, Sizemore played his first full season in the majors. He quickly established himself as one of baseball's up and coming stars in center field. He was named the leadoff hitter of the Indians' lineup, and has stayed there since. He was supposed to play in Triple-A, but Juan González' injury in the first game of the season secured his spot in the major leagues. He also joined Roberto Alomar as the only players in franchise history to record 20 doubles, 10 triples, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. Sizemore's best month came in June when he hit .377 (40-106) with 4 HR and 16 RBI in 25 games. He finished the season batting .289 with 22 home runs, 81 RBI, and 22 SB. Before the start of the Template:Mlby season, Sizemore signed a six-year contract with the Indians worth $23.45 million with a club option for 2012.
In 2006, Sizemore was selected to his first All-Star Game as a reserve outfielder. In the All-Star game, he had two at bats and went 0-2. In addition to his offense, he also was a fine center fielder, making some spectacular plays. Overall in 2006, Sizemore batted .290 with 28 home runs and 76 RBI, playing in all 162 games. He scored 134 runs to lead the league, had 190 hits, 53 doubles, 11 triples and 22 steals. His OBP was .375, and his SLG was .533.
In addition, he became one of only two players in MLB history to have at least 50 doubles, 10 triples, 25 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in a single season (2006).
The May 14 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine featured Sizemore on the cover. In the cover article, Indians' general manager Mark Shapiro calls Sizemore "without a doubt one of the greatest players of our generation".
On July 1, he was named to his second All Star team. In 2007, he had 25 home runs, and was 33-10 in stolen base attempts. He was one of six batters in the AL to have at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, along with Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Ian Kinsler, B.J. Upton, and Curtis Granderson.
On November 6, it was announced that Sizemore had earned his first Gold Glove, after he posted a .995 fielding percentage with two errors and displaying his reputation for great range in center field and acrobatic catches.
On July 2, Sizemore hit his twentieth home run and stole his twentieth base, marking his fourth straight 20/20 year. He was named to the American League All-Star Team for the third consecutive year, and participated in the 2008 Home Run Derby where he hit six home runs, but did not advance to the second round. Sizemore participated in the 2008 All-Star Game and he played 10 innings after the game went into extra innings.
On August 21, Sizemore hit his 29th home run of the season against the Kansas City Royals, setting a new career high.
On August 25, Sizemore hit his 30th and 31st home run against the Detroit Tigers, becoming the 32nd member of the 30-30 club.
He was the only AL hitter to hit at least 20 home runs and steal at least 20 bases each year during 2004-08.
On September 9, after struggling through a subpar season, Grady elected to have surgery on his left elbow which had troubled him since spring training. Having the surgery performed one month before season's end allowed for more healing time and preparation for the following year. Cleveland was already eliminated from playoff contention by the time of his decision. One week after the elbow surgery, he also elected to have surgery on his lower abdomen to repair a hernia that was related to the groin injury which forced him from the World Baseball Classic, thus ending his 2009 season one month before the final game.
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