Photo courtesy of Brian Gorman
Nolan Gorman delivered a walk-off home run to give the Central Florida Gators a Perfect Game World Series trophy in the championship game. For the Class of 2018 Arizona Baseball commit, that may not even be the best trophy he has ever held in his hands.
Gorman, an avid fisher, has hauled in many impressive catches on the lake. Whether he is on the diamond or on the boat, he plans on adding to his collection of trophies in the future.
Gorman learned to play baseball around the same time he learned how to walk.
“I started playing baseball ever since I could hold a bat and throw a ball,” Gorman said. “I have loved it ever since.”
This love for the game began in the backyard with his father, fielding ground balls on the grass and learning how to hit. It was not long before Gorman realized he had a passion for baseball. Now he finds himself stopping ground balls in the dirt on diamonds across the nation at shortstop, a position considered one of the toughest to play.
Some ballplayers tend to stay away from the middle infield spot because of all the challenges it presents, but for Gorman that only made him want it more.
“At shortstop you’re like the leader on the field and that’s a role that I enjoy filling on the teams I play on,” Gorman said when explaining what appealed him about the position. “Playing shortstop is outstanding, there is nothing more fun than challenging yourself to be the best you can at anything you do.”
To be the best, Gorman takes notes from the best, modeling his game after another successful shortstop, Derek Jeter.
“I model my game after Derek Jeter,” the shortstop said. “Not only because he is an outstanding baseball player but he always hustled and gave 110 percent on the field and is also a great guy off the field.”
Being a great guy off the field and a hustling on the field is what Nolan really likes about Jeter’s game. Like Jeter, Gorman typically has a calm demeanor both on and off the field but he has no trouble finding emotion when it is needed.
“I am a generally a calm player,” Gorman expressed. “But when games are on the line or I do something big to help the team I will get excited and get the team pumped up.”
Clearly fielding and hustle are important parts of Gorman’s game, but for someone who prides himself on having a complete game there is no way he could forget about hitting. In fact, batting is the part of his game he takes the most pride in because it is a constant challenge to improve and adapt.
All this focus on having a complete game has payed off in a huge way for Gorman. In recent years he has participated in events such as the Perfect Game World Series for the Central Florida Gators, MLB Pipeline assessments and he was recently selected to participate in the Under Armour All-American Game.
In 53 games recorded by MaxPreps, he posted a .450 batting average with 58 hits and 52 RBI’s. The Sandra Day O’Connor High School shortstop is currently ranked eighth in the class of 2018 rankings, according to Perfect Game. When choosing the best out of all these moments, Gorman had to go with the Under Armour All-America Game and the experience it gave to him.
After being selected to the team, Gorman went out and took batting practice at the Chicago Cubs spring training facilities, a pretty memorable experience in his young career that also taught him a valuable lesson.
“I went out and took [batting practice] in the event in front of a crowd and in one round, five out of six swings I hit the ball out under some pressure because the other kids watching knew I was an All-American so they’d want to compare themselves to me,” Gorman explained. “This helped with big situations where there will be a lot of eyes on me I’ve gotten to experience that feeling already.”
With all this success, it is not surprising that colleges have shown interest in Gorman. Although he is only beginning his junior season, Nolan already knows where he will be spending his collegiate years as he verbally committed to the University of Arizona.
Gorman only visited Arizona during his recruiting process, but that was all it took for him to realize that Tucson is where he wanted to be.
“When I walked on campus it felt just like home,” Gorman explained. “The coaches made me feel like I was going into something special and they didn’t let me down with that with the performance they had last year under the new coaching staff led by Coach Johnson.”
On the field Gorman is looking to do something every college baseball player dreams of: winning a national championship. Off the field he plans to study something involving sports whether it be management or training.
All this success has been great for Nolan, but it has also been exciting for his family to be right by his side through it all. His father Brian, who coached Nolan from 10u through 14u, could not be happier seeing his son succeed.
“We are very proud of the work he puts in to be the best player he can be,” his father Brian expressed. “No matter what the future may hold in store for him, we will always get to treasure the experiences we’ve had through this baseball journey.”
Brian Gorman also deserves some credit for getting his son to where he is today. Besides coaching him for a few years, he has made sure that Nolan gets every opportunity possible to compete at the highest level and showcase his skill. Furthermore, Mr. Gorman is also a student of the game himself. Besides playing in his youth he spends a great deal of time focusing on how to help Nolan improve both physically and mentally.
This work ethic has even rubbed off on his son.
“Everybody knows the saying that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” Mr. Gorman said. “Nolan’s success is the result of talent working hard.”
When Nolan has some time off from his baseball life, you can probably find him somewhere outdoors and near a lake.
“I will go fishing whenever I get the chance whether it is by myself, with my family, or with my friends,” Gorman said. “It is such a relaxing and fun thing for me to do to give my mind a break.”
It does not hurt that Gorman is pretty good at this sport as well. He has even caught a 6-foot-long Bull Shark while deep sea fishing with some teammates.
So whether he is hitting walk-off home runs or reeling in a big catch at sea, Gorman is hoping that there will be a few more trophies and big catches in his future.
Edited by Joe Catapano