Since he was old enough to walk, Nolan Gorman has wanted to do one thing: hit!
"He wasn't really a kid who played with trucks or video games," says Brian Gorman, Nolan's father. "He's always either had a bat or a ball in his hand."
Gorman started playing baseball when he was 5 years old. He's heading into his senior season at Sandra Day O'Connor High and committed to play baseball at the University of Arizona.
Gorman has hit 22 home runs in high school and his power prowess was recently recognized by USA Baseball. While playing at a tournament in North Carolina he was selected to go to the MLB All Star Game in Miami and compete in the High School Home Run Derby.
"I just looked around the stadium, did like a whole 360, and just took it all in," says Nolan, who plays third base for Sandra Day O'Connor Eagles.
"Seeing all those fans was so so surreal. Stepping into the batter's box was amazing."
Nolan wasn't nervous, but his dad was.
"Honestly, I was just hoping he could hit one out," says Brian Gorman. "The very first night we got there we went and did a rehearsal with MLB, and he hit 18 out... that was pretty cool to watch."
Nolan carried that momentum into the final. His 14 home runs on Sunday had him matched with Canadian slugger Noah Naylor on Monday in front of the All Star crowd. The Valley native got some helpful advice from last year's High School Home Run Derby Champion, Chandler Hamilton's Nick Brueser.
"He said just stay relaxed, take it all in, take deep breaths, just try to have as much fun as you can," says Nolan Gorman.
The Valley native hit five home runs in front of the All Star crowd to capture the title. That wasn't the only cool part of the experience.
"I saw Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, all of them," says the 17-year-old Gorman. "Those guys are just giants, hit the ball 100 mph off the bat, it's just insane to see."
One day, maybe Nolan Gorman can compete in the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. He hopes to go back to the MLB All Star Game next year and defend his High School Home Run Derby title.
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