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jason grilli, 2014 topps #159, pirates

Player: Jason Grilli

Card: 2014 Topps #159

Position: RHP/Closer

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Jason Michael Grilli (born November 11, 1976 in Royal Oak, MI) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, and Texas Rangers.

Jason was a highly regarded prospect out of Seton Hall University and was selected fourth overall in the 1997 draft by the San Francisco Giants, Grilli was one of the top starting pitcher prospects in all of Minor League Baseball, ranked 54th in 1998 and 44th in 1999. The Giants traded him to the Florida Marlins in 1999, for whom he debuted on May 11, 2000.

In 2005, Jason Grilli made his first appearance with the Detroit Tigers on September 19, 2005, exactly 30 years to the day after his father, Steve, made his major league debut with the Tigers. He was used as a relief pitcher for Team Italy at the 2009 World Baseball Classic in Toronto, and was charged with the loss when Venezuela beat Italy, 7-0. He again pitched for Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

His career really took off after becoming a closer in 2011, and he made the 2013 All Star Team - saving 33 games for the Pirates that year. Amazingly, in 16 career postseason appearances covering 12 innings, with four different teams, he did not allow a single earned run and only 5 hits.

Grilli's nickname is "Grilled Cheese". He is the son of former major-league pitcher Steve Grilli, who pitched for parts of four seasons in the late 1970s, including three with the Detroit Tigers.

Jason Grilli on Philly.com: "I was doing the job asked of me as a middle reliever. Nobody pays attention to that. The game has a way of evening itself out. Good players stick around. I'm a resilient one. My perseverance has definitely paid off. I'm living proof of that." (Matt Gelb, 04/24/2013, 'Phillies Notes: Once stuck on Phillies' farm, Jason Grilli excels with Bucs'.)

Jason is on Twitter @GrillCheese49

(excerpted from Baseball Almanac, BR Bullpen, & Wikipedia)


2017 Topps #90


Listen to Larry Baldassaro’s interview with Jason here – or view the Next Stop on the Baseball Italian Style Tour

Jason is part of the Topps Card Tour – 2014 Topps – Go to the Next Stop

Jason is part of the All-Star Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Jason Grilli is also part of the Detroit Tigers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Jason is also part of the Chicago White Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Jason is also part of the Pittsburgh Pirates Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

“Grilled Cheese” is part of the Great Italian American Player Nicknames Tour – Go to the Next Stop

See all Jason’s baseball cards at TCDB

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