PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – He’s known as Grilled Cheese and he’s overcome a lot of adversity to become one of the most popular Pirates around.
Jason Grilli joined KDKA Radio’s Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about his new book, “Just My Game.”READ MORE: Crews Battle Cold Conditions, Fire At Home In Beechview
In “Just My Game,” Grilli describes the highs and lows on his journey to becoming one of baseball’s premier closers.
Grilli says he’s come a long way from being the skinny kid in high school who, “Couldn’t put a pound on to save my life,” to Major League All-Star.
Many fans in Pittsburgh might not know that Grilli’s career almost ended in 2010 during spring training in Arizona.
Grilli was running when he says he heard something that reminded him of, “The crunch of an empty water bottle.” He says his leg was facing backwards and he told himself, “No freaking way my career is over.”
He had a long rehabilitation but says, “Thank god they put Humpty Dumpty back together again one more time so I could do all these cool things and be a Pittsburgh Pirate.
“The fans here are incredible,” he added.
Grilli has a strong relationship with his dad, playing catch with him as he grew up.READ MORE: Some Pittsburgh Residents Face Snow-Covered Streets Ahead Of Morning Commute
“Baseball is a cool thing we get to share,” says Grilli. But he adds the love he and his dad share is far more important than baseball.
In his book, Grilli talks about how some of the dads today are ruining their child’s baseball experience. He understands that “Everyone wants the glory. There are million-dollar contracts out there, the glory of just putting on a major league uniform and sometimes dads want to give it the best and they just don’t know how to coach their kids.”
He says when a child is young, “This is about them learning the game [and] having fun right now.”
He adds there is time to get serious when the child gets older, but when a child is young, “it’s about having fun and raiding the snack shack after you win or lose.”
You can meet Jason Grilli at the Camp Horne Giant Eagle between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. May 10 to get a copy of “Just My Game” and get it signed by Grilled Cheese himself.