PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Nolan Gorman and Matt Liberatore first met on their first baseball team. The Valley natives played on the Reds when they were 5 years old and went on to become best friends. Despite going to different high schools, the two Valley baseball stars remained close, and now they play for the same team again, the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I was telling people, this is my best friend that just got traded that's coming to the Cardinals," said Gorman, who was drafted with the 19th pick of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Cardinals. "They're like, 'Oh cool,' and I'm like, 'No guys, this is my best friend!'"
Liberatore was drafted three picks in front of Gorman in 2018 by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was shipped to St. Louis in the winter as part of the deal to send Jose Martinez to Tampa. Liberatore called his dad and then Gorman, but Gorman didn't pick up.
"Too busy playing minigolf," joked Liberatore, who spoke with Gorman shortly after. "If you handed me a script five years ago and said this is what your life is going to look like, I would have probably told you to tone it down."
Liberatore went 6-2 with a 3.10 ERA last season in Single A ball. Gorman split time between Palm Beach, Florida and Peoria, hitting 15 home runs. Gorman went to Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Phoenix. Liberatore went to Mountain Ridge. They only faced each other once.
"He'll probably try to hit me," joked Gorman, who should get his fair share of swings off Liberatore during spring training.
"As much as it was fun facing him in high school, I'm not asking him to step in the box by any means," said Liberatore.
The two will report to camp this week in Florida. Two kids from the same Little League team are close to being on the same Big League team and it seems like the story is just getting started.