By Rob Rains
PEORIA, Ill. – Nolan Gorman played the 100th game of his professional career on Thursday night and on Friday night, the Cardinals’ top prospect will get an honor usually reserved for players with far more experience.
It will be Nolan Gorman Bobblehead night as the Peoria Chiefs host the Quad Cities River Bandits.
The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive the bobblehead, a promotion the Chiefs set up over the winter even before they knew for certain that Gorman would be on their roster this season.
“They tweeted it out and that’s how I found out I was getting a bobblehead,” Gorman said. “I thought it was kind of crazy, but really cool at the same time.”
Among the fans who will be lined up to get the bobblehead are several members of Gorman’s family and friends who are flying in for the game from all over the country. The family has reserved two party suites for the game and expect more than 25 relatives to be there.
“My family is super excited to get their hands on some bobbleheads,” Gorman said. “It’s kind of creepy how similar it looks to me.”
The gathering also will be a belated birthday party for Gorman, who turned 19 a week ago.
“It’s a lot of family that I don’t get to see,” said Gorman, who will welcome his parents and other relatives from Arizona as well as other relatives from New York and Florida. “It’s going to be really good to see them.
“Hopefully the night can turn out really well.”
Gorman, the Cardinals’ top pick in last year’s draft, finished last season in Peoria and has played for the Chiefs so far this season, although there is speculation he could be promoted to Palm Beach in the coming days.
The Cardinals last week promoted another of their top prospects, Malcom Nunez, also a third baseman, to Peoria out of the extended spring training program. Nunez, 18, has been used mostly as a DH in his first few games with the Chiefs, playing third in one game in each of the team’s two doubleheaders this week.
In his first 99 games, Gorman hit 26 homers and 20 doubles, driving in 71 runs while compiling a .278 average. In his first 36 games this season prior to Thursday night he has nine homers and 27 RBIs while posting a .254 average.
Gorman’s nine homers lead the Midwest League and he ranks second in the league In RBIs.
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