Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Royalty salutes All-Star pitcher Jason Grilli of the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Back on May 26, 2011 I got to meet and greet Jason Grilli who was trying to make a comeback to the major leagues after he suffered a knee injury that kept him out for the entire 2010 season. At the time, he was playing for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Philadelphia Phillies Triple A affiliate. A few months later due to a stipulation in his contract he became a free agent. He signed on with the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 21st. He finished the season strong for the Pirates. He was rewarded with a one year contract for the 2012 season. He became the Pirates' set up man for their closer at the time, Joel Hanrahan. After having a solid season, he was once again a free agent. This time he was offered a two year contract to stay in Pittsburgh. After giving it some thought, he decided to stay in the Steel City. In the off season, the Pirates traded Joel Hanrahan to the Boston Red Sox. With that being said, Jason was asked to take over as the Pirates' closer. Jason being used to adversity was able to overcome his knee injury to get back to the big leagues. Now he was determined to adapt to his new role in the Pirates' bullpen. Based on his first half performance, he has passed the test with flying colors.

Jason Grilli at Wrigley Field 
Ironically I saw Jason again during batting practice when I was at Wrigley Field back on July 6th. He came over and he shook my hand and I wished him well. I told him to keep up the great work.
He was there with his father Steve who pitched with the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays in the late 1970's. I remember having his baseball card when I was a young lad. They were having a catch in the outfield. It was so cool to see this father & son combination in the friendly confines.

That Sunday night the All-Star selections were announced. Jason Grilli aka Grill Cheese was among those who had his name called. What an accomplishment it was for him. This is a great example that hard work truly does pay off.

Jason & Steve Grilli having a catch at Wrigley Field
The following Saturday I saw Jason again at PNC Park before the Pirates played the Mets. I officially congratulated him on being selected to the All-Star game. Later that night, Jason came in and he closed out the game as he notched his 29th save of the season.

I was so happy for him as he pumped his fist when he sealed the deal getting the Mets out 1,2,3.

Jason Grilli on the cover of SI  
Thanks to his business partner and friend of mine, JeanAnn Harrison who told me that Jason was on the cover of the July 22nd Sports Illustrated which did a feature story on Jason and the rest of the Pirates' bullpen which is referred to as the Shark Tank. Jason is living the dream nowadays and then some.

Hope he helps the Pirates finally finish over .500 for the first time since 1992. In addition, I hope they get to play some meaningful baseball in October this year.

Time will tell. With that being said, Let's Go Bucs, raise the Jolly Roger.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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