A century-old U.S. Navy veteran put his baseball dreams to the side to enlist in the Navy during the country’s World War II efforts roughly 80 years ago.
Now, the veteran will finally get to join the team that began to recruit him before his service.
Roy Kinyon, 100, is set to join the Buffalo Bison thanks to a one-day contract on July 4, Buffalo area news station WGRZ-TV reported.
It’s a dream that’s eight decades in the making as the Bison asked Kinyon to try out before his naval career.
Kinyon, whose older brother Ralph also played baseball, was a successful local baseball player as he helped his high school team win the Niagara Orleans championship two years in a row, according to WGRZ.
His success and career aspirations, however, were put away in favor of his time in the military.
“I said, ‘Oh, I’d like it, but I’m going to join the Navy tomorrow,’ so I left for the Navy,” said Kinyon of the baseball team’s tryout.
Kinyon, who fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, said he didn’t regret the career decision for a second.
The veteran will now be honored through a number of gestures by the Bison including a custom jersey and a first pitch at Sahlen Field in Buffalo.
Anthony Sprague, the Bison’s general manager, welcomed Kinyon’s addition to the team.
“It’s not often a minor league general manager gets to add a true American hero to his club’s roster, but I am thrilled that we’ve come to terms with Roy on this one-day contract so that he can forever be part of the Buffalo Bisons team,” said Sprague, according to Minor League Baseball.