They were in High-A together four years ago, developing as prospects in the Diamondbacks organization in Visalia, Calif.
Right-hander Archie Bradley told third baseman Jake Lamb when he finally got called up, all he wanted to do was call his dad, Charles.
“Oh my God,” Lamb said. “That’s all I think about. I love my family, but being able to call my dad, getting to tell my dad I made it …”
The two clicked immediately.
Bradley and Lamb have progressed at different rates through the ranks before eventually settling in as fixtures for the Diamondbacks, but their friendship has been a constant amid a journey that has the two of them playing the best baseball of their careers this season.
“Call it a bromance,” Bradley said. “It started early.”
Lamb was the first to appear with the Diamondbacks, making his major-league debut in 2014. The following year, Bradley bought a house in Scottsdale and ended up making the team out of spring training.
“I bought this house with this vision of being in the big leagues at 22 years old, 23 years old, living with guys on the team and having everything you wanted when you were 13 or 14, and now you can afford it and enjoy it at like 22, 23,” Bradley said.
The pair became roommates, and Lamb has technically logged more in-season hours in Bradley’s place than Bradley, who was sent down in 2015 and opened 2016 in Triple-A. They like to spend their free time playing basketball in the pool, challenging other duos.
“Josh Collmenter and Phil Gosselin were the best team ever assembled,” Lamb said. “We’re second.”
They’re both competitive and focused on their roles for the Diamondbacks. But when it’s time to leave the field, they easily unplug.
“We have a good balance of show up to the field, do everything, be the best player we can possibly be, be the best team we can possibly be,” Lamb said. “But when the game’s over, the game’s over and we love talking baseball and everything. But we’re able to just shut it off and chill and have a life outside of ball.”
The two also have their differences. Bradley has been a lightning rod for attention this season as a dominant reliever with a personality as bright as his red beard. Lamb has also been successful, getting named an All-Star for the first time and eclipsing 100 RBIs in the heart of the Diamondbacks’ order, but he’s a quieter presence in the clubhouse.
“He just ignores me,” said Bradley, who will rattle off question after question about where they’re going to eat until Lamb finally says, “Dude, enough. Just chill. Not right now.”
Lamb likes to keep Bradley grounded, but during a season that has flattered plenty of individuals, Lamb has applauded his friend – praise that has been extra meaningful to Bradley.
“He’ll just be talking, ‘That guy had no chance tonight. When I saw you warming up, I was like, the game is over,’” Bradley said. “You kind of laugh but seriously, when you hear that from the guys you’re around every day and we really are a family, the type of relationship and atmosphere we have going there, that for me is the biggest compliment I’ve gotten this whole season.”