An athlete can be nominated for such a waiver if there “is a strong expectation that a Military Service Academy cadet or midshipman’s future professional sports employment will provide the Department of Defense with significant favorable media exposure likely to enhance national level recruiting or public affairs missions.”
“Obviously, Noah has always expressed an interest in doing both — playing baseball while also serving in the Navy,” said Sara Kelm, who represented him in his Boston negotiations. “I know Noah wants to live up to the commitment he made. At present, Noah has a soft report date for flight school. You never know what will happen tomorrow. Things can change.”
The new order will be implemented for the class of 2020, due to the date it came into effect, meaning it does not apply to Song, a right-handed pitcher who spent last summer with the Lowell Spinners, the Boston Red Sox‘s low Class A affiliate. There he became a top prospect but he will have to report to flight school for two years before he has another chance at playing pro ball.
Song allowed 10 hits, two earned runs, recorded 19 strikeouts and allowed five walks while posting a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings pitched under his 0,00 contract with the Red Sox, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft. This order was requested by President Donald Trump in June, when he said those in the military should have the opportunity to “take advantage of their athletic talents during which playing professional sports is realistically possible” because of the “short window of time” athletes have.
Noah Song was hoping to continue his professional baseball career and goal of playing in MLB after graduating from the Naval Academy last May, but the new order from the Department of Defense that allows those in military academies to pursue professional sports immediately following graduation will not apply to him.
Song was not expecting much, so he says he is not too disappointed about the whole thing.
Navy coach Paul Kostacopoulos had high praise for Song as a person and a player and said, “I think Noah has accepted his fate. He has always wanted to serve and is looking forward to flight school.”
“Unfortunately, my request was negatively endorsed by the Naval Academy due to the fact this new policy did not apply to me,” he told the Capital Gazette. “The Naval Academy did not provide a positive recommendation to the CNO and therefore the request was denied. So that’s the end of that route.”
In the meantime he will remain the property of the Red Sox.
“I’ve dealt with enough adversity in my life that this isn’t going to completely bring me down. The Navy definitely does not owe me anything. This (waiver request) was a Hail Mary play. I didn’t expect too much. If you don’t expect much, you don’t get disappointed. I’m excited to head down to flight school and get started on becoming a flight officer.”
“Perhaps after two years I will get another shot,” the 22-year-old said. He applied for the waiver to continue his baseball journey, but it was denied by Admiral Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations.