Atlanta Braves and Michael Harris II and former Alcorn State player Michael Harris I
Alcorn State

Michael Harris tosses first pitch for Atlanta Braves

The former Alcorn State player shares a special moment with son who stars for Atlanta.

Outfielder Michael Harris II is a big reason why the Atlanta Braves are contending for another World Series Championship. Harris went 5 for 5 on Sunday as the Braves demolished the Colorado Rockies 14-6 in Atlanta. However, it was his dad, former Alcorn State baseball player Michael Harris I, who made the save before the game began.

More on the pedigree of the elder Harris in a bit but first the scenario.

The original plan for Sunday’s matchup had the father of Charlie Culberson set the throw out the first pitch. It was a nice touch for Father’s Day but one small thing went awry ahead of the game. The Braves designated the third baseman for assignment just before the game which was awkward timing at best. With Culberson immediately heading down to the minors, there was no way the organization could parade his father up to the mound.

In stepped Michael Harris to support his son and the team of his native Atlanta. Wearing his son’s jersey Harris threw from the pitcher’s mound, not every ceremonial pitch has that range, and clearly landed the ball within the strike zone. The younger Harris was catching for his father and the two embraced to a big applause from the crowd.

Those familiar with Harris as a player at Alcorn State in the 1980s weren’t surprised that he aced his last minute assignment from the mound.

Bringing back the Alcorn State magic

Harris played baseball for coach Rat McGowan, where he rotated at every position except catcher. Some of his career highlights include retiring 26 batters in a row for a one-hit shutout against Rust College. During his junior season Alcorn State defeated the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. 

Harris grew up in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta, where he was discovered by an assistant coach for Alcorn State. The same park where he honed his skills is the same park where his son began his journey to the major leagues.

Harris II, like his father, has the ability to play multiple positions, including pitching. Prior to being drafted in 2019 by the Braves the younger Harris was projected to be a pitcher. He was ultimately deemed to good of an overall player not to be on the field every day. The rest is history in the making so far.

Harris clobbered one of his five hits 453 feet on Sunday, launching the ball onto the concourse at Truist Park. ESPN gave a deeper dive into the statistical canon of Harris with this tweet on Sunday.

“Michael Harris II is the first Braves player since 1900 with a 5-hit game out of the No. 9 spot in the order. He is also the first Braves player age 22 or younger with a 5-hit game since Andruw Jones in 1999.”

Translation: an awesome day at the ballpark shared with his father.

Michael Harris tosses first pitch for Atlanta Braves
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