Navy grad realizes his big league dreams

Over four years and eight months in the U.S. Navy, this is how Harris kept his professional baseball dreams alive. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 2008, his duties as a surface warfare officer prevented him from pursuing a career in Major League Baseball. Three deployments on two ships to Russia, South America and the Middle East made it difficult to keep his arm in shape. Making it to the big leagues was more a dream than a legitimate goal.

But seven years later, with his full-time service commitment fulfilled, Harris stood on the third-base line at Nationals Park on Tuesday night, holding a St. Louis Cardinals hat over his heart. As the National Anthem rang throughout the stadium, the moment began to sink in: Harris had made it to the big leagues. And if or when he appears in a game, he will become the first Navy graduate to do so since Nemo Gaines in 1921.

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