We announced a couple weeks ago that 1B Prospect Brian Harrison was retiring from baseball after being drafted in 2010. Knowing it must have been a difficult decision for him to retire and say goodbye to the game at 25, I reached out to Brian to ask him about his time in the minors and why he chose to hang ’em up. He was kind enough to give MMO some of his time. This is his story…
We’re sorry to see that you’re retiring from Baseball, why did you choose to leave?
It was an incredibly difficult decision to make. Baseball has been an integral part of my life for so long, and parting with this great game and the friends that I have made was not easy for me. Unfortunately, injuries were a constant hindrance in my progress through the minor leagues. I was given much opportunity with the Mets, which I am very grateful for, but my body never seemed to hold up for a full 140 game season. As a 25 year old entering my would-be fifth season, I did not feel confident about where my body was physically and its ability to perform at its highest level. I have so many great memories of baseball that I did not want to sour them with any more time spent in the training room.
What was one of your favorite memories on the diamond?
Wow, it is hard to think back through twenty plus years of baseball and pick just one memory. It’s been an amazing ride, from getting to play with my brother in high school to the huge upset wins back in college. More recently with the Mets, I will especially cherish the times in the locker rooms, hotels, and on bus trips with the guys. If I had to pick one specific moment that I will always remember, it would be winning that championship in Savannah this past year. There is no feeling quite like the sheer bliss you experience after that last out and then getting to dogpile with your boys. It turns everyone into little kids again. I am so thankful I got to be a part of that with those guys and that coaching staff.
I’m sure, you get some individual hardware for winning the championship, right?
I believe we will get rings, yes.
Also, were there any players, or coaches that really stuck out to you?
The Mets system is laden with talented players, experienced coaches, and good people, so it is impossible to list each by name. It will be exciting to see guys like Noah, Montero and Plaw among others up in the show and hopefully enjoy long, successful careers. One guy, that despite monster numbers still seems to fly under people’s radar is Dustin Lawley. That guy is a flat out stud that can do it all and could play in the big leagues right now.
From a coaching perspective, I loved getting to be on teams with Frank Viola the past 2 or 3 years. Talk about a guy that really loves the game and his players. That desire to see players succeed isn’t limited to Frank though. I also want to give a big thanks to guys like Kevin Morgan, Lamar Johnson, Bobby Malek, Fuentes, and Dave Pearson and the training staff for their help over the past four years. Also, I always enjoyed when Nate (Bob Nadal) came into town and shared some stories/laughs. His snacks in the dugout got me several much needed hits to break out of a slump.
What will you be doing now that you’ve retired?
I am currently finishing up my degree in Mathematics-Economics at Furman and will graduate in May. I would love to be around baseball in some aspect, but I will likely try to head up to New York and do something in banking or finance. Other than that, I plan on spending some quality time with my family this spring, cheering on my brother in his senior season at Furman, and working on my golf game, which is very mediocre at the moment.
Well I’m glad that you’re doing well, are finishing this degree, and we hope that everything works out. Is there anything else you’d like to say about your time with the Mets?
These years were the greatest of my life, and I am forever grateful to the Mets for giving me a chance to live my childhood dream. I am really going to miss it. Thanks to all the Mets fans who have shown me nothing but love for the past four years. You all have made this an unbelievable ride.
Thank you Brian for your time, have a happy retirement.