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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK : Perfectly Humble Pitchman : Granada Hills’ Harris Lets His Performance Speak for Itself

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If Eric Harris was a salesman working on commission, he’d starve to death. If he was a politician, he’d be out of the race in the second week.

Rhetoric is not his strong suit. Harris is the kind who lets a fastball do the talking.

The senior right-hander at Granada Hills routinely gives credit to others while soft-pedaling his own achievements. For instance, after Harris threw a perfect game last Wednesday--a 5-0 Mid-Valley League win over Van Nuys--the accolades were flying from Harris’ mouth, but they were directed toward others.

“He’s just Mr. Humble,” catcher Nile Bloom said. “Even after games, when he’s being interviewed, he’s always telling everyone to give the credit to others.”

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This spotlight business is probably more of a nuisance than a blessing. Early in the season, Harris and Highlander right-hander Jeff Adams were billed as “The Untouchables,” because at the time, batters weren’t exactly hit men when it came to handling the pair.

“Don’t bring up that stuff,” Harris said. “People will think we’re arrogant, and that’s not the way I want to be perceived. I’m a pretty conservative guy.”

Harris was ultraconservative against Van Nuys. Despite not having his best stuff, Harris dispatched the Wolves on only 70 pitches, striking out four. He has allowed only two runs in his past 16 innings and is 5-0.

“I really only had my fastball working,” Harris said. “Truthfully, I don’t think it was the best game I’ve ever had.”

Granted, the Wolves had yet to win a league game when Harris beat them. But Granada Hills needed a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 9-8 win over Van Nuys earlier this year.

Harris’ style mirrors that of Coach Darryl Stroh. After the perfect game, Stroh offered a handshake and a simple, “Good job.”

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“That was perfect,” Harris said. “Coming from him, that’s all I want to hear. Straight and conservative.”

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