Jason Grilli

Professional Athlete, Author

"I'm happy to partner with Feed America in efforts to spread awareness and provide relief to thousands. I believe together, we can make a difference, effect change, and help strike out hunger."

Jason Grilli, author of a new book entitled “Just My Game” (Mascot Books — May 2014), is a major league pitcher who has played for seven teams — Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Angels — since 2000. The 37-year-old right-hander was named to the National League All- Star team in 2013, where he pitched a scoreless ninth inning of the All-Star Game. That year, Grilli registered 33 saves for a Pirates squad that went on to win 94 games and advance to the playoffs after a Wild Card win.

Grilli, whose nickname is “Grilled Cheese,” signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, compiling a 2.48 ERA in 28 relief appearances in his first year. The following season, as the team’s primary set-up man, he mowed down hitters at an impressive rate, striking out 90 batters in 58.2 innings. Then, following pitcher Joel Hanrahan’s trade to the Boston Red Sox in December 2012, Grilli became Pittsburgh’s closer.

In 2013, he saved three games in late September, helping the Pirates secure a Wild Card playoff spot, where he worked the ninth inning of Pittsburgh’s victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Grilli also pitched in both of the contests the Pirates won in the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. His performance landed him on the cover of renowned Sports Illustrated magazine in July of that year. In 2014, seeking to upgrade their bullpen, the Los Angeles Angels acquired Grilli in a trade.

Jason Michael Grilli, born in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, MI, is the son of former major league pitcher Steve Grilli. He is a 1994 graduate of Baldwinsville High School in the Syracuse, NY-area, where he played baseball and basketball. Grilli also spent three seasons at Seton Hall University, where he was an All-Big East Conference pick his junior year, before the San Francisco Giants selected him in the first round of the 1997 draft.

Grilli is also a proud Italian-American, who has pitched for Italy in the World Baseball Classic three times (2006, 2009 and 2012). He and his wife Danielle have two sons - Jayse (age six) and Jayden (age one) — and make their off-season home in Orlando, Florida.

Off the field, Grilli’s current charitable endeavors include work on behalf of Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger relief agency. As part of that effort, he toured the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank this past April. During his visit, he spoke to a group of families in need and recognized Land O’ Lakes for its massive contribution of 40,000 pounds of cheese — a donation that was made in honor of National Grilled Cheese Month. Grilli, along with other major leaguers, is also a strong supporter of the 108 Stitches campaign to "Strike Out Cancer." As an entrepreneur, he has founded Perfect Pitch Marketing Inc., which serves as the parent company for future business endeavors, including a partnership with Cincinnati based grilled cheese restaurant group Tom & Chee, which will aim to create menu items that are consistent with his brand and image.


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