Jason Michael Grilli was born on November 11th, 1976 at Royal Oak Michigan. The tall six foot five left hander went to high school in Baldwinsville, New York located in Upstate New York. He was drafted by the AL New York club but chose to go to school instead.
He then attended Seton Hall University in South Orange New Jersey. By 1997 he was the first round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants (the fourth pick overall).
By 1999 he was traded to the Florida Marlins organization in exchange for Livan Hernandez & Nate Bump.
Jason Grilli would wear the uniform number 49 in honor of his father. He has been a long time journeyman middle reliever who has pitched for six different teams. Grilli has been with the Florida Marlins (2000-2001) Chicago White Sox (2004) Detroit Tigers (2005-2008) Colorado Rockies (2008-2009) Texas Rangers (2009) & Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-2012).
He arrived with the Tigers in 2005 & made his debut exactly thirty years after his dad had made his debut with the team. In 2008 Jason earned his first career save & the Grilli's made history. They became the first American father & son duo to earn saves. It had been done before by Latino pitchers Julio & Jamie Navarro as well as Pedro Borbon Sr. & Jr.
In his ten year career Jason Grilli is 21-25 with five saves & a 74 games finished with a 4.34 ERA in 330 appearances. After each game where he makes an appearance the Grilli's still talk on the phone or in person. In 2006 he made it to the World Series with the Tigers appearing in five post season games.
Grilli has pitched for Team Italy at the 2006 & 2009 World Baseball Classics. He has spent a lot of time in Italy & has dual citizenship between the two countries. He also has learned to speak the Italian language well.
Grilli also runs a videophone company called perfect pitch, that also deals with social media marketing. In the off season he his wife & their child live in Orlando Florida.
Stephen Joseph Grilli was born on May 2nd 1949 in Brooklyn, New York. He attended high school in Memphis Tennessee & then Gannon University at Erie PA. The six foot two right hander was signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1970.
He would spend the majority of his career in the minor leagues making brief appearances in the majors in four seasons. In 1972 he went 11-3 at AA Montgomery where he earned a promotion to the AAA Toledo Mud Hens.
In 1975 he got a September callup to the Tigers making his debut on September 19th, 1975 finishing up a loss to the eventual AL Champion Boston Red Sox.
In 1976 he went 3-1 with three saves in 33 appearances, having his best year in the Detroit days where Mark the Bird Fidrych was all the rage. In 1977 he made 30 appearances going 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA. He would eventually get his contract purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays where he pitched one game in 1979.
He was back in the minor leagues where he became a popular figure while pitching with the Syracuse Chiefs. He would put on a show during the 7th inning stretch playing the "air banjo" to the delight of the fans.
On June 23rd 1981, he was the losing pitcher in the longest game ever played between the Rochester Redwings & the Pawtucket Red Sox. In the 33rd inning he faced three batters allowing a run, without retiring anyone. as the Red Sox went on to the win.
In his four season career he is 4-3 with three saves & a 4.51 ERA in 70 appearances. Grilli had control issues as he walked 96 batters while striking out 91.
Retirement: After his playing days he became a broadcaster for the Rochester Red Wings.