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Jason Grilli, the one-time Baldwinsville Bee, left Central New York to pitch in 595 big-league games, winning or saving 113 of them (and striking out 694 batters in 685 innings along the way).
But perhaps more impressive than Jason’s steady production was his endless perseverance. Bulging disc . . . fractured elbow . . . Tommy John surgery . . . ripped Achilles tendon . . . torn quad tendon . . . ruptured kneecap. Grilli endured all of those injuries (and more) and triumphed over each.
It takes talent, of course, to pitch in all or parts of 15 big-league seasons as Jason Grilli did. It also takes grit. And Jason, the starter-turned-reliever who made his way onto the cover of Sports Illustrated while starring for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, displayed both.
The physical setbacks surely took their toll, but they only made Grilli’s views from the baseball mountaintop that much more magnificent. And, oh, they were all of that.
He pitched the ninth inning in the 2013 All-Star Game . . . and held the American League scoreless. He pitched in six postseason playoff series . . . and didn’t yield a run in 12 appearances against the Yankees, Athletics, Cardinals, Royals, Rangers and Indians. He pitched in one World Series . . . and did not allow St. Louis a hit in his two stints.
So, Grilli — who debuted at the age of 23 with the Florida Marlins in 2000 and threw his last big-league pitch at the age of 40 for the Texas Rangers in 2017 — overcame all those injuries and accomplished quite a bit on the mound.
He was just as impressive, however, out of uniform, a point underscored by the Atlanta Braves in 2015 when they named Grilli their nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, given each year to that Major League Baseball player who best represents the sport on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Sure, Jason — the son of former big-leaguer Steve Grilli (and Kathy) — had a big right arm, which is why the San Francisco Giants selected him out of Seton Hall University with the fourth overall pick in the 1997 baseball draft. But he also had a big heart as he regularly read to kids at schools, visited patients in hospitals, served meals to the hungry, raised money for worthy causes (notably, the Rocky Mountain Deaf School in Denver) and worked on MLB’s “108 Stitches” campaign to “Strike Out Cancer” throughout his career.
All of this — pitching and service — has landed Grilli a deserved spot in the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, complete with this notable distinction: None of the other baseball inductees in our shrine has appeared in more major-league games than he has.
ROCK'N BALL WINES
As I reflect on my personal story not just as a professional athlete, but also as a descendant of the Grilli family, I recognize the depth of my Italian identity. Italy has always been a part of my upbringing. This includes family traditions, obtaining my Italian citizenship, visiting the areas that my ancestors came from, and all that has been shared with me through stories.
A world that once was very distant has become another place I call home.
Moreover, I discovered a great way that links me back to my Italian roots beyond the immigration of my ancestors, who sought a better way of life in America. As a tribute to my family heritage, I now carry on traditions along with others who share the same feelings about their origins.
If you would like to retrace your lineage with a journey like mine, then together we can combine the history and passion of the motherland. There is no better time to embrace all that preserves the embodiment of Italian culture and family values.
If there were one word to convey all of this…WINE. That is the premise underlying the Rock‘n Ball Wines project, which combines my love for my sport, for music, and for the nectar of the gods.
This rediscovery was very exciting and, in a sense, gave me a new lease of life.
Your wine defines the bloodline and embodies your family name. Our team of experts will research and develop the very best fit that celebrates and honors your Italian legacy.
This exclusive collection of Italian athletes and musicians is a collaboration of our brand and the variations of select wines the entertainers represent.
Rock’n Ball Wines invites you to unite your ancestry’s area of origin through the harvest of the fine grapes particular to your province and region.
I know there will be lots of you who will want to be a part of this exciting adventure. I can’t wait for you to share your wine with your families, friends, and fans.
T O P 1 0 0 S P O R T S
TOP 100 SPORTS is the leading Multi-Sport Youth Evaluation Company in the USA. Our Affiliate program licenses premier training facilities and academies in select markets nationwide. Affiliate locations are professionally trained to employ the TOP 100 sport specific Player Development System. Our PDS utilizes the latest technology to capture metric based tests. Athletes receive a player profile, bio, test results and ranking. The Top 100 athletes per age group, by region are invited to the TOP 100 Games [Invite Only] throughout the USA.
"In today’s competitive youth sports environment, coaches, athletes and parents are turning to independent evaluations to properly gauge a players' physical development." - Jason Grilli / Partner
Contact Jason Grilli for TOP 100 Affiliation and Book a Pitching Clinic.
L E G E N D S F I E L D S
Legends Fields is the Premier Baseball-Softball Complex in Upstate New York.
Located in Oswego, N.Y. a short 35 minute drive from Syracuse and is managed by Premier Sports Management LLC.
In 2018, PMS-Champions Events undertook and completed the most extensive sports diamond refurbishment in the 25 year history of the Complex which features six (6) lighted and fenced Diamonds. Additional improvements were made to the 'Sports Grill' , main building and landscaping.
In 2019 and 2020 PSM-Champions continued the refurbishments to the fencing, lighting, parking lot and maintenance buildings.
OUR goal for 2021-2022 is to complete the refurbishment of the Complex!
Plans are being layed to TURF all six infields of the sports diamonds. TURF will extend the playing season form five months to seven months thus increasing tourism for local businesses including; hospitality, retail and restaurants.
For Investment information please contact; Jason Grilli / Partner- CES