Mike Grace and Tyler Green were born four months apart in 1970. The two right-handed pitchers were drafted by the Phillies in 1991. Green went in the first round out of Wichita State, and Grace in the 10th round from Bradley.
They played together at Class A Batavia that summer and were reunited at Veterans Stadium when Grace was called up in 1995.
Each had his moments of glory in red pinstripes. Green was a National League All-Star in 1995. Grace got off to a 6-0 start with a 2.34 earned run average in 1996. Both ultimately had their careers shortened by shoulder problems.
"We knew each other pretty much throughout our whole time together," Grace said. "We had a lot of parallels, all the way from college on," agreed Green.
Still, it's kind of eerie that they find themselves reunited at H/P Technologies, Inc., in Scottsdale, Ariz.
They had lost track of each other as each began coping with life after baseball. And it took more than a little serendipity to bring them back together, including a key go-between role played by another former Phillies pitcher, Steve Ontiveros.
After Grace pitched his last professional game in 2001, he bounced around before finally settling in Scottsdale. He worked at baseball clinics and was a day stock trader. Early on, he became close with a local businessman who owned a tech company that deals with computerized hospital records systems.
"I met him the third or fourth day I moved out here," Grace said. "We were just friends. We'd just go out and have dinner or a drink once in awhile. And when he started expanding, he offered me a position.
"Everything's going paperless now. That's a big initiative. They're modernizing all their systems, so there's a lot of activity right now."
Among the institutions he works with is Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Grace has been there two years and was recently promoted to a management position. Meanwhile, Green stayed in the Philadelphia area when he walked away after the 2000 season. He built a company working with agents and athletes but, after seven encouraging years, the business took a downturn.
By then, much of his family had moved to the Phoenix area, and he decided to follow.
"Just about my whole family is out here now," Grace said. "When I was in college, my parents moved to Scottsdale, then moved back to Colorado a couple years later. Then my twin sisters, who are seven years younger than me, ended up liking it here so much that when they got old enough they ended up moving out here. Then my parents sort of followed after that. I just came out with my kids. My cousin moved out here and my aunt, so everybody's kind of migrated here."
Enter Ontiveros. He has a baseball academy in the area, and Grace had given some lessons there. He was also talking to Green about helping him out on the business side. The timing didn't work out, but he happened to mention that Grace was in the area and passed on his contact information. They had lunch one day last summer and one thing led to another.
"It was really just one of those things," Grace said. "Tyler was kind of looking for his next path, I guess you could say. And I said, 'Hey, we're expanding. If you want a job over here I'm sure I can get you in.' He got hired here and he's been working here since."
As with many tech companies, the workplace dress code is casual. T-shirts, jeans and ballcaps are all acceptable attire. And bother former players are thriving in the environment.
"There are basically two sides to the business," Green explained. "There's the account manager side, which works with the hospitals and insurance companies. I was actually just promoted to that. So I work with hospitals.
"The recruiting side is where they actually work with the people. We work with the companies that have the jobs. Then we send the jobs out to our recruiting side and they sign the people to fill the positions."
It wasn't inevitable that Grace and Green would end up as teammates again. It just seems that way.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.