Heckling Fan Changes Tone For Vet

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from USAToday,

The fan, sitting above the visiting bullpen at Progressive Field in Cleveland, was relentless, taunting the rookie St. Louis Cardinals reliever.

He mocked Mitch Harris. Teased him. Booed him.

Then, there was silence.

The fan stared into his phone for several minutes, didn’t say a word, and then spoke again, this time almost in reverence, as Cardinals reliever Randy Choate tells the story.

“Hey Harris,” the fan said. “Uh, I just Googled you. Thank you for your service. I’m sorry for getting on you so much.”

Several minutes later, another fan started yelling at Harris, Choate says, only to be stopped by the googling fan.

“He said, ‘No man, stop it,” Choate said. “‘He served. He’s good. He’s cool. He’s cool.’

“It was absolutely hilarious.”

Says Harris: “It’s the first time anyone has ever apologized to me for booing me.”

This is what happens when folks find out that Harris happens to be Lt. Mitchell Harris, who graduated from the United States Naval Academy, and served five years for his country. He is the first Naval Academy graduate to play in the big leagues since Nemo Gaines in 1921.

When Harris was introduced at a recent charity dinner for autism two weeks ago in St. Louis, he was the only player greeted with a standing ovation.

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