The breakout star of the Phillies’ postseason so far is just barely old enough to ride without a car seat. That would be Liam Castellanos, the 10-year-old son of slugger Nick Castellanos, who has quickly become a household name in his own right.
He most recently went viral with a clip that showed his complete awe and excitement watching his dad hit two home runs in pivotal NLDS Game 3 against the Braves.
Turns out that was just his latest brush with internet fame. Liam has been in the MLB spotlight before — since he was 7 years old. The kid was basically born for baseball, and he knows it.
“I started doing some stuff when I was just born,” Liam said in an MLB TikTok from August of this year. “At that point my dad would just chuck ping-pong balls at me.” (That was to work on Liam’s reaction times, his stepmother helpfully chimed in.)
If you’re on Philly socials then you’ve probably seen Liam pop up somewhere.
The hashtag #LiamCastellanos has reached over 12,700 views on TikTok, with memes being some of the most popular videos. His fame is no different on Twitter, where some of the top tweets have more than 309k views.
What else do we know about the city’s latest social media crush? Read on.
A beautiful father-son relationship
Although his dad is a major star, Liam is a relatively normal kid — that is, if accompanying the Phillies to a late-night victory party at Xfinity Live and being hoisted into the air in celebration as fans’ and reporters’ cameras whirred can be considered normal.
The rest of the team already knows Liam because he became a fixture in the Phillies atmosphere over the summer, living any 10-year-old’s dream. He participated in different activities like batting practice against Roger Clemens and going to the All-Star Game with his dad, the Athletic reported.
However, Liam can’t spend all of his time with the Phillies. During the year, he usually lives in Florida with his mother where he’s homeschooled by his grandmother. That’s according to Liam’s stepmother, who posted the explanation after Phillies fans decided they would do anything to keep Liam in the city, offering assistance in any way they could.
The distance between Philly and Florida can be difficult, Nick Castellanos told the Athletic, because the loving dad finds it challenging to hear about things like Liam’s school experience and different activities like baseball or jiu-jitsu over the phone.
Liam’s fame didn’t start with the Phillies
Before Nick Castellanos signed with the Phillies, Liam became popular among Reds fans.
When he was only 7 years old, Liam designed the shirt his dad wore to the All-Star red carpet — it featured a drawing Liam made of his dad, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. A brand called Cincy Shirts later debuted a Liam Castellanos collection, with the design available on different clothing items and the proceeds going to charity.
Fans loved Liam’s shirt, and often posted photos of him signing their swag on social media.
Now Liam is working hard to make a Philly-themed shirt, and will be donating the proceeds to a local nonprofit, according to his mom.
Many Philadelphia fans know Liam because of his recent reaction to his dad’s home run, but some noticed his interactions with his dad for the first time early in the 2022 season, MLB reported, when Castellanos had just arrived in Philly.
This season, Liam has been seen in various social media videos cheering his dad on before every hit. Nick Castellanos has said that Liam tells him to “hit it over the fence every time,” and his dad certainly tries his best.
Is he the good luck charm the Phillies need?
Liam isn’t just his dad’s number one fan, he might also be the Phillies’ lucky charm, the Inquirer suggested.
Liam has been in attendance for both of his dad’s historic performances — the first being when Nick Castellanos reached a career milestone by hitting his 200th home run — after the 10-year-old hadn’t been at the stadium in months.
The positive vibes weren’t just for his dad, either, the Inky pointed out. While Nick Castellanos reached his career milestone, Liam also witnessed pitcher Michael Lorenzen’s no-hitter for the Phils.
For the duration of the 2023 postseason, he’ll be with the team, per his stepmom.
Time will tell if Liam Castellanos is actually the team’s lucky piece or if he’s just helping instill confidence in players, including his dad, but there’s no doubt he has cemented his place as a Phillies’ icon.