Tuesday, April 28, 2015

First Navy Baseball Grad to Majors in 94 Years

Mitch Harris during his Navy playing days (photo / USNA)
Milwaukee - Right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris, seven years after graduating from the Naval Academy, made his major league debut on Saturday night with the St. Louis Cardinals as they faced the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out the first batter he faced.

The Cards' middle reliever graduated the academy in 2008. He completed his post Naval Academy service obligation in 2013. The last Navy player to successfully navigate from graduating Annapolis to the major leagues was Nemo Gaines. Gaines pitched 4.2 innings for the Washington Senators in 1921 before returning to the Navy.

Harris batted a healthy .295 with 16 HRs and 112 RBIs in his four-year career with the Mids, so his arrival in the National League will give him the opportunity to once again gets some swings in the batter's box. He pitched two years in the Cards' minor league system (6-3, 76 strikeouts, 94.1 IP, 2.77 ERA) before being called up this year to the big club.

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