MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Thanksgiving a special time for Nats' Harris

WASHINGTON -- Doug Harris is one of the hardest-working executives in baseball. As the Nationals' assistant general manager and vice president of player development, Harris is one of the reasons players such as Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon developed quickly in the Minors and became stars in the big leagues.

Although he works hard at developing players, it's not lost on Harris that Thanksgiving means spending time with his wife, Lisa, and three daughters. As they always do, the Harris family planned a special day at his parents' house in Pennsylvania. With exception of exchanging gifts, it has that Christmas atmosphere at Ron and Tish Harris' house.

"I don't get the opportunity to spend time with my family as much during the year," Harris said. "Thanksgiving is a holiday I value a ton. We have the opportunity to get together as a family and spend those days together. They mean the world to me. I have an incredibly supportive wife and three girls who are special."

Harris starts Thanksgiving Day by running in the 14th annual Century Link Turkey Trot, a 5K race in Carlisle, Pa.

Harris calls himself a turkey-and-potatoes type of guy, but before he gets to his parents' house, Harris has to fix stuffing without celery or onions. Tish Harris taught him how to fix the dressing. However, Doug acknowledges he is not Rachael Ray when it comes to working in the kitchen, but it doesn't stop him from making the special dish.

"My mother had this recipe that she made for me and my brother," Harris said. "Over the course of time, I'm the one that has taken that on. I'm the one that makes it. I'm not very good at it, but I take a stab at it. My wife makes traditional dressing that has all the stuff that I don't really care for. But I fix the non-onion and non-celery stuffing."

When it comes Thanksgiving, Harris makes sure players in the Nationals' Minor League system have an idea what family is all about.

"It's a regular theme for us. Everybody's family comes first. We are extended family for all these guys," Harris said. "We want that environment -- to have an opportunity to spend with your love ones during the offseason. It's important that they do this while they can."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.