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Where is Zac Gallen from? Learn about the Diamondbacks pitcher's Philadelphia-area roots

Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen aims to eliminate the Phillies and prevent a second consecutive World Series appearance for Philadelphia.

In the upcoming NLCS, Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen has set his sights on one goal: to eliminate the Phillies. The Phillies, who are the reigning National League champions, are the only obstacle standing in the way of Arizona's trip to the World Series, and Gallen's performance will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the series.

Interestingly, Gallen has a personal connection to the Phillies as he grew up not far from Philadelphia. Born in Somerdale, N.J., just 14 miles from the city, Gallen moved to nearby Gibbsboro, N.J., at the age of 11. Despite his proximity to Philadelphia, Gallen did not grow up as a Phillies fan. Instead, he dreamed of pitching for the Cardinals and was a fan of Mark McGwire.

Gallen's journey to the MLB did not go exactly as planned. Although he was drafted by the Cardinals in 2016, he was later traded to the Marlins without ever having the opportunity to wear a Cardinals uniform in a major-league game. However, Gallen's disappointment did not deter him from pursuing his dreams.

As Gallen prepares to face the Phillies in the NLCS, he acknowledges the significance of playing at Citizens Bank Park, a stadium he frequented as a child. While he expects to have many friends and family members in attendance for Game 1, Gallen remains focused on treating the series as a "business trip" and blocking out any overwhelming emotions.

Despite his allegiance to the Cardinals, Gallen still holds strong opinions about Philadelphia. He remains a fan of the Eagles and 76ers, and he has a deep love for Wawa, a popular convenience store chain in the area. Gallen also has fond memories of enjoying cheesesteaks at Pat's with his mother during his college years.

During his high school days at Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken Township, N.J., Gallen began to make a name for himself in baseball. He was ranked as one of the top players in the nation and in New Jersey in the class of 2013. His impressive performances caught the attention of MLB scouts and paved the way for his collegiate career.

Gallen continued his baseball journey at the University of North Carolina, where he pitched for three seasons. He maintained a solid 3.36 ERA during his college career, with a standout junior season boasting a 2.79 ERA. His success at UNC ultimately led to his selection by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2016 MLB draft.

However, Gallen's time with the Cardinals was short-lived as he was traded to the Marlins in 2017. Two years later, the Diamondbacks acquired him in a trade that sent prospect Jazz Chisholm to Miami. The trade has proven to be a win for Arizona, as Gallen has emerged as a top pitcher in the National League. In 2022, he finished fifth in NL Cy Young voting and started the All-Star Game for the NL.

Now, Gallen finds himself back in the NLCS, leading the Diamondbacks towards a potential World Series appearance. It is a significant moment for Gallen, who grew up just a short distance from Citizens Bank Park when the Diamondbacks last reached the NLCS in 2007. As he takes the mound in the upcoming series, Gallen will rely on his skills, determination, and the support of his friends and family to help him achieve his goal of eliminating the Phillies and advancing to the World Series.

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