Yesterday, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Chris Rowley made his debut in the majors, which is an important milestone for any baseball player. However, Rowley's debut had historical significance to it that most players do not have. He became the first person to graduate from West Point to reach the big leagues of MLB.

Rowley's path to the major leagues

Chris Rowley chose to pitch for the Army Black Knights over Mercer University since they offered him a scholarship and a chance to start games as a pitcher. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2013 but was passed over by every team in the amateur draft.

He spent that season with the Blue Jays Gulf Coast team and played good baseball.

He then missed all of the next two minor league seasons since he was in active military service as a first lieutenant. During this time he served in Oklahoma, Bulgaria, and Romania. He got an exception for the remainder of his service in January 2016, after spending 30 months on active duty. However, he is still on the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).

In 2016, he spent the entire season playing Class A ball. Rowley played well enough that he was able to start this season, playing in Double, and getting promoted up to Triple-A ball in the middle of June.

How did his debut go?

In his major league debut, Chris Rowley faced-off against the Pittsburgh Pirates, throwing 5 1/3 innings.

The 26-year-old ended up getting a win in his first game, as the Toronto Blue Jays won in front of their home crowd 7-2. When Rowley was taken out of the game the crowd of 46,179 gave him a standing ovation.

He allowed five hits but only gave up a single run. He also got three strikeouts and gave up one walk. After that game, Rowley acknowledged the crowd's response, noting how it was a special moment for him.

He became the 12th different pitcher to start a game for the team this season, which is one short of tying the team record of 13 different pitchers that was set in 1979, 2002, and 2013.

West Point grad makes history

With his debut, Chis Rowley became only the second person from West Point to reach the majors. The only other player to make it to the major leagues from the school was Walt French (1899-1984).

However, he did not graduate from the school like Rowley. French played right field and was also a pinch hitter. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1923 and from 1925-29, being part of their World Series winning team during his last season.