Cubs pitcher Jeremy Jeffress shares tastes of South Boston roots with frontline workers

PHOENIX (WDBJ) -- For Cubs pitcher Jeremy Jeffress, there's nothing like fried seafood that makes him think of home.

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"I grew up on it," he said. "I went there every day, almost, getting a shrimp plate, getting a fish plate maybe for my pops."

The southern-style cuisine means so much to the South Boston native that he started his own food truck a few years ago while pitching in Milwaukee.

Though normally found outside the ballpark, JJ's Bread and Butter is now parked on the front lines of the pandemic where he currently lives in Arizona.

"I've been here for about nine years and I've seen a lot of things in Arizona," Jeffress said. "I've seen a lot of bad stuff in Arizona, so to bring it here and to help out the communities with starvation and the local food banks and stuff like that, and Banner Health hospital, where I've come before because of my epilepsy--just to help these guys out and show my appreciation for what they're doing."

Jeffress is sharing the tastes of his childhood with nurses, doctors and other hospital staff at Banner - University Medical Center in Phoenix, complete with his flashy food truck that used to serve Brewers fans outside Miller Park.

Inspired by the same recipes from his Virginia hometown, Jeffress is using his time away from the mound to give back to those who have treated him and so many others.

"There's a lot of people that are struggling and you want to find certain ways to give back and with the coronavirus, you can only do so much," he said. "You have to pick and choose the ways that you can give back and providing food for the hungry, providing food for the staff that's here, just helping people out, just finding your way to contribute.

"We appreciate them, so this is my appreciation to them."

Jeffress has pitched 10 years in the major leagues, spending seven of those with the Brewers. He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs this past offseason.

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