Grilli following in his father's footsteps

Grilli following in his father's footsteps

Jason and Steve Grilli have spent a lot of time on the baseball diamond.

It's no wonder then that no one moment sticks out for the son of a former Major Leaguer.

Whenever Jason takes the mound, his father is with him.

Wearing his father's No. 49 and the Old English 'D,' the younger Grilli is in his second season with Detroit.

"Especially being in the Tigers jersey, I take great pride in that," Jason said. "I had requested the number, but someone had it. When I got called up last year from Toledo, I didn't have to ask, it was just sitting in my locker waiting for me to put on. It was a good feeling. I have him on my back all the time."

He has also had his dad's constant backing from the time he was in Little League.

"Having my father play in the big leagues was definitely an advantage growing up," Jason said. "Now I know more so what sacrifices he made in order for me to be in this position. Being my Little League coach, he'd come sometimes in a suit and tie, coming from work, and throw us batting practice. It was special, having a father that cared so much, having something in common."

Now, Steve is one of the first people Jason talks to after a game.

"Having my dad there in good times and bad, I think sometimes he knows me best because he's coached me for so long," Jason said. "He's helped me in so many different ways, not just from a baseball standpoint -- living the lifestyle, keeping my family situation close. The best thing is that my dad can relate to me in that aspect because he's been through it."

Sam Miller is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.