"The best thing I've ever done," Harrel told The Register-Guard with a couple weeks experience under his belt. "You wake up, you go to the ballpark. The next day, you wake up and you go to the ballpark."
Harrel's time waking up and going to the ballpark as a player ended up being limited. He played that year and the next. But he has gone on to return to the ballpark many times since, in the role of coach.
Harrel's career began that year in 1990, taken by the Royals in the 18th round of the draft out of Taft.
Harrel started with the Royals at short-season Eugene. In 55 games, the first baseman/catcher hit .223, with four home runs.
He moved to single-A Appleton for 1991. He hit .231 there in 82 games to mark the extent of his career.
Harrel then turned coach. He coached at Lane Community College in Eugene, coaching them to the championship in 1999. He then became an assistant coach at Oregon State and the University of Washington.
In 2008, he moved to Seattle University to take over its reborn baseball program. He continues there in 2018.
"Donny and his staff have done a remarkable job in a very short period of time," school director of athletics Bill Hogan said in a release after Harrel signed a new contract. "Baseball is very important to the Seattle U community and we have established a solid foundation to compete for championships in the near future."
Harrel also serves as an instructor with his own school, Donny Harrel's Baseball Institute.
- Eugene Register-Guard, June 30, 1990: They're back where they started; Part 2
- Seattle University: Donny Harrel Agrees to New Contract with Seattle U
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,963
Made the Majors:1,095-37.0%
Never Made Majors:1,868-63.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 455
10+ Seasons in the Minors:274