The 5 most inspiring St. Louis Cardinals of the decade

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Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after catching a line drive out by Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to end in the first inning during the National League Wild Card Game at Dodger Stadium on October 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after catching a line drive out by Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to end in the first inning during the National League Wild Card Game at Dodger Stadium on October 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 17: Mitch Harris #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 17, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – SEPTEMBER 17: Mitch Harris #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 17, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) /

Mitch Harris

The first graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to play major league baseball since 1921, pitcher Mitch Harris served in the U.S. Navy from 2008 to 2013, attaining the rank of lieutenant.

Harris was required to spend five years in the Navy after graduating from the academy in 2008. During that time, he served as a weapons officer, a combat information officer and a training officer, and he sailed all over the world, including areas in the Middle East, the Baltic states and Russia.

The Cardinals took Harris in the 13th round of the 2008 draft and waited for him to complete his time in the Navy. While there, Harris still stayed busy with baseball, taking his glove and a bag of baseballs with him on his journeys.

After Harris’ time in the Navy ended, he worked to develop on the mound, as his fastball had dwindled in velocity to the mid-80s. After he resurrected his fastball, Harris climbed the ladder quickly and debuted with the Cardinals on April 25, 2015, at age 29. He didn’t allow a run in his first seven appearances and ended up with a record of 2-1 and a 3.67 ERA. He was given the Tony Conigliaro Award after the season, which is given to players who have overcome adversity.

Harris missed the 2016 season after recovering from UCL surgery, and the Cardinals released him in 2017. Despite his short stint with the team, Harris’ time in the major leagues shows that it’s never too late to achieve one’s dreams, no matter where the world takes them.

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