A journeyman for most of his 11-year major league career, Pittsburgh Pirates closer Jason Grilli always flew under the radar in terms of local and national media coverage. It’s difficult to imagine it now, but despite the out-going personality we've grown to appreciate and his distinctive appearance, Grilli could comfortably walk down the street in any of the six cities he’s played in and only the most die-hard of fans were likely to notice him.
That dynamic only started to change when Grilli created his must-follow account on Twitter (@GrillCheese49). His social media following grew beyond the die-hards, but it wasn't until he emerged as Clint Hurdle’s go-to man in the ninth inning during the 2013 season that Grilli's popularity soared.
Now, as the first pitch of the NL wild card game nears, Jason Grilli is anything but under the radar. He's an All-Star. He's a media darling, appearing on nearly every sports media platform as the Pirates representative. And he's also one of Pittsburgh's most important players, as the fate of their season could end up riding on his right arm.
Still, despite the obvious surge in popularity and his greater responsibilities, Grilli and the creative minds at Majestic wanted to test the waters to see just how recognizable the 36-year-old right-hander has become in the city the Pittsburgh. The result was an entertaining promotional ad that is just beginning to go viral on social media.
In the ad, Grilli poses as a sales associate at a local Dick's Sporting Goods. His objective is to go unnoticed while selling as much Pirates gear — specifically his own Grilled Cheese T-shirts — as possible, and we'll just say he was much better at the latter than the former. Grilli was handing out jerseys left and right, but he was immediately recognized by just about everyone in the video. In particular, a young fan looking for shoes comes right out and asks "are you Jason Grilli?"
Of course he got a jersey, too.
It's a fun video and a fun promotion for Majestic. Grilli appeared to be having a great time interacting with the customers throughout and vice versa. But the highlight had to be Grilli enjoying a grilled cheese sandwich served in a brand new glove. The video would not have been complete without that acknowledgment.
BLS H/N: Bloguin