Harmon Bove Jr. was born on March 13, 1950 in Burlington, Vermont. He went to Burlington High School where he was an All-State football player and played baseball at a high enough level that in June of 1968 he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 27th round of the MLB Amateur Draft.
Later that summer he started his profession baseball career as a backup catcher for the Covington Astros of the Rookie Appalachian League. One of his teammates was a future MLB all star named Cesar Cedeno. Bove appeared in 24 games, collecting 6 hits and 4 walks in 38 plate appearances.
After graduation, he also enlisted the Marine Corps. He told a friend he picked the Marines because someone told him that kids enlisting in the National Guard were "cowards". He went to Recruit Training at Parris Island, South Carolina where he was honored as top recruit/platoon guide. Within a few months he was headed to Vietnam, where his tour started on July 4, 1969.
On March 3, 1970, while out on patrol in Quang Nam Province, Corporal Bove stepped on a booby trap and suffered multiple fragmentation wounds. He was flown to a hospital in Da Nang, where he died the following day. He was nine days away from his 20th birthday.
Harmon Bove is buried at Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington. The cemetery is located alongside his high school’s baseball and football field. His headstone, made by the stonemasons in Burlington, resembles a bench in the dugout, with a baseball and glove etched into the stone.
Happy Memorial Day Corporal Bove. Semper Fi.