By Josh Kramer
Cincinnati native Josh Harrison is heading to the Show. He has finally realized his boyhood dream. Word is that the former Princeton High School and University of Cincinnati baseball star has received the call to the Major Leagues from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Talk about an amazing story.
Harrison is a Cincinnati kid who has always been a great athlete, but really began the recent tear about 6 years ago (his senior year of high school). Harrison was always one of the smaller guys, a guy that you never would have expected huge things from. But he always managed to prove the doubters wrong and is continuing to as we speak. Josh embodies the statement of “small but mighty.” He may be the smallest guy in height when he debuts with the Pirates, but his history shows that his play is bigger than his body.
This news really hits home for me in that Josh is an old family friend of mine who I had the pleasure of attending both high school and college with. I understand where Josh is coming from, and have been rooting for him every step of the way. You will not meet a better guy than Josh.
As a senior in high school, Harrison led Princeton High School to its first appearance in the State Baseball Final Four in over 30 years. Following the miraculous run, Harrison, who had received little to no Division 1 interest, obtained an offer to take his talents to the University of Cincinnati. Talk about a great decision by Coach Cleary and the University of Cincinnati baseball program.
During his three years at UC, Harrison filled the Bearcat record books, finishing in the Bearcat top 10 all-time in batting average, at bats, runs, doubles, RBIs, total bases and stolen bases. Not to mention, he was an All Big East performer in each of his three years and was the Big East Player of the Year in his final season. Following his remarkable career as a Bearcat, Harrison was drafted in the 6th round by the Chicago Cubs. Not even former Bearcat star and current Boston All Star Kevin Youkilis was drafted as high as Josh (Youkilis went in Round 8 to the Red Sox).
Since entering the professional ranks, Harrison has taken full advantage of the opportunities he’s had. He has risen up the ranks quickly, though bouncing around from team to team like the typical Minor Leaguer. He has played in Boise, Peoria, Lynchburg, Daytona, Altoona, and Indianapolis. This year, he has been on an absolute hot streak though, batting .321 to go with 2 HRs and 11 RBIs.
Earlier today, the Pirates placed catcher Ryan Doumit and infielder Steve Pearce on the 15 day DL resulting in Harrison getting the call. Talk about a dream come true for Josh Harrison. Nobody is more deserving. Harrison has always been a very hard worker, yet he also always flashes a smile on his face no matter the situation. Not only is he a great baseball player, but he is an even better person. He is the type of guy that would have made it big in whatever he decided to pursue if not for his baseball career.
We all know that Josh will continue to make the Princeton High School community, the University of Cincinnati community, and the city of Cincinnati proud, even if he is a Pirate now.
Tip your hats to Josh Harrison. Welcome to the Show.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.