Black History Month is a time to remember the important contributions and achievements of African-Americans throughout our nation's history. Personally, the observation of black history is a time for me to reflect on all those who have come before me in the African-American community and their countless sacrifices and struggles, shaping the way for future generations -- including my own.
In addition to Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, George Washington Carver and other leaders in the African-American community, I also celebrate my grandparents and parents, who accomplished so much in an effort to provide opportunity for my family. Learning from my elders about how things were and how things have changed has helped me understand the importance of hard work -- encouraging me to "play hard" every day and pay it forward for generations to come.
Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson is entering his 13th season in the Major Leagues. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.