Braves Minor Leaguer Stephen Moore put pitching on hold to serve as a naval aviator
As a kid, Steven Moore knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up -- "I loved baseball," he told MiLB.com's Michael Avallone. "I was always practicing and playing in the yard. From a very early age, it was really the only thing I knew and could wrap my head around."
Moore grew up in Marietta, Ga., dreaming of playing for the Braves. And after a standout high school and college career, that dream came true: Atlanta drafted the righty in the 10th round of the 2015 Draft. Moore isn't at Spring Training with the team right now, though -- he's currently at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., training to become a naval flight officer.
Ironically enough, it was Moore's love for baseball that led him to put his career on hold. Despite a stellar career at the Walker School, only one Division I team offered him a scholarship: the United States Naval Academy.
The righty was a star at Annapolis, posting a 2.90 ERA and microscopic 1.67 walks per nine innings over 269 2/3 frames. But he knew that pitching for Navy came with far greater responsibilities, ones that he's embraced.
"I'm happy with the decision I made," he said. "I have an urge to fulfill my commitment to the Navy. It was a pretty easy choice for me. I received a fantastic education, trained to become an aviator and will now have a career few have the opportunity to experience."
Moore quickly fell in love with flying, and decided to become an aviator -- soon he'll be Lieutenant (second grade) Moore. But while he's enjoying his service, he hasn't forgotten about baseball: After he was drafted, the Navy allowed him to begin his career with Rookie-level Danville, where he put up a 1.64 ERA in nine appearances. As soon as the season ended, he was off to Naval Air Station Pensacola to begin training -- but when Atlanta's Double-A affiliate came to town, Moore requested to put on a uniform and sit in the dugout next to his would-be teammates.
"I could sit there and become envious," he said. "I could watch games on television and say, 'Yeah, I could strike him out or I could do this or do that,' but that's not really who I am. I wouldn't trade my life right now for anything. I'm doing something very few people are able to do. I'm honored to be able to fly for the United States Navy."
You can (and should) read more about Moore's story at MiLB.com right here.