Grilli Cheese: Toronto pitcher feeds fans, Jays foundation

TORONTO (AP) For one veteran Toronto pitcher, National Grilled Cheese Month really is food for thought.

Pitcher Jason Grilli, whose nickname is ''Grilled Cheese'' and whose Twitter handle is (at)GrillCheese49, has managed to turn a simple sandwich into a force for good.

The Blue Jays are running a ''Fire up the Grilli'' promotion in April - which is also National Grilled Cheese Month - with a Grilli-designed sandwich on sale at a concession stand at Rogers Centre. A portion of the proceeds go to the Jays Care Foundation.

A group of kids was treated to the sandwiches before Wednesday's game with Milwaukee.

''I'm a fan of food and to be able to see kids that benefit from just having a good meal as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich, you can see some instant gratification,'' Grilli said. ''I'm pumped to team up with the Jays Care Foundation.''

Social media interaction for National Grilled Cheese Day included tweets from actress Jessica Biel, former UFC champion Miesha Tate and Toronto Major John Tory, who also mentioned Grilli in his tweet.

The 40-year-old Grilli is also a member of Feeding America's Entertainment Council. The organization is billed as the ''largest domestic hunger-relief organization'' in the United States.

''A lot of guys create their own foundations, but it takes a lot of time and energy to do that,'' he said. ''So I just figured why not team up with one that's already got things under wraps ... It's just cool. Something as simple as feeding people who may not be able to do that themselves is just beneficial. And a lot stems from that.''

Grilli says his dad, former pitcher Steve Grilli, is the ''original cheese man.''

''Any time you give back (is special),'' Jason said. ''This is nothing to do with me. My name's attached to it, the nickname kind of goes hand in hand.''

''And everybody likes a grilled cheese sandwich every now and again,'' he said.

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