ATLANTA — If you ask around the Nationals clubhouse, nearly everyone will have a story about Doug Harris, the team’s assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel. Harris is one of the steady, constant hands that has overseen the Nationals’ minor league organization for years now, a dogged defender of doing things the right way who has had all the tough conversations that come with that kind of mind-set. Every homegrown National seems to know Harris, and every one of them seems to have something for which to thank him.

But it is one of his more recently hired colleagues, assistant general manager Bob Miller, who is making the most talked-about sacrifice on behalf of his colleague who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015. Miller, who was in the Diamondbacks’ front office with General Manger Mike Rizzo when the team won the 2001 World Series, is auctioning off his World Series ring to raise money for Harris’s treatment. As of Saturday morning, the highest bid was more than $11,500.

Harris has a chronic type of the blood-cell cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia. He underwent a bone-marrow transplant in 2016 that helped him beat back the disease and return to work full-time last year. But this summer, his wife, Lisa, started a GoFundMe page (since closed) to help raise funds for an experimental treatment called CAR-T — a cell therapy that will help Harris fend off the disease down the line but will cost $400,000.

That GoFundMe page, tweeted and circulated by dozens of current and former Nationals minor leaguers, raised more than $151,000 for Harris. But at some point in the process, members of the big league roster met to discuss Harris’s situation and decided they would help by organizing a charity auction. The bidding for that auction is open until next Tuesday, and winners will pick up their prizes from players next week.

A few weeks ago, a Nationals scooter appeared outside Dave Martinez’s office at Nationals Park. Gio Gonzalez had given his manager a scooter with a speaker earlier this year, so its presence wasn’t that strange. But when it lingered, and when people started signing it, the intent became more clear. That scooter is a part of this auction, too, with a current bid of $4,000. Players signed and donated items like gloves and cleats. A broadcast experience is also available. Miller’s ring, however, is an uncommon draw.

Not one for the spotlight, always more willing to work in the background, Miller didn’t want to say much about the decision to donate the ring. He shrugged off the idea of sacrifice. He doesn’t have children, so felt he couldn’t pass it down (he joked that his pets wouldn’t appreciate it). He isn’t one for jewelry, so didn’t avail himself of the bling very often. The idea “just came to him,” and he didn’t think twice.

“This is about Doug,” he said, unwilling to comment further. Harris, too, asked not to comment publicly, but expressed tremendous gratitude for the efforts when asked if he would like to do so. He was moved by Miller’s decision and those of the players. Even those who did not come up through the Nationals system — notably Max Schezer and Sean Doolittle — have donated to the auction. This has been a difficult season for everyone in the Nationals organization, but a few of them are spending the last few weeks trying to make things a little easier on one of their own.


Adam Eaton RF

Trea Turner SS

Bryce Harper CF

Anthony Rendon 3B

Juan Soto LF

Mark Reynolds 1B

Wilmer Difo 2B

Spencer Kieboom C

Jeremy Hellickson P


Ronald Acuna Jr. LF

Ozzie Albies 2B

Freddie Freeman 1B

Nick Markakis RF

Kurt Suzuki C

Ender Inciarte CF

Charlie Culberson 3B

Dansby Swanson SS

Julio Teheran P

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