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Bryce Harper's Phillies debut: Long awaited ovation and Phanatic-inspired cleats ring in a new era



PHILADELPHIA – Many Phillies fans did not disturb buying new jerseys in recent years. As the franchise rolled out increasingly mediocre and unfamiliar lineups, many of the fans bothered with Citizens Bank Park, with Utley, Howard or another 2011 teammate written over their backs.

That That tide began to turn last season, when phillies put together four months of promising baseball before they hit the line hard. But it was nothing like Thursday when Philadelphia officially showed that the city is ready to break baseball again .

Utley, Howard and Hamel's Hamel's ] was still scattered over the seats, but there were many more Nola Realmuto and Hoskins jerseys among the sales volume of 44,469. However, no fashion choice was more popular than the best-selling jersey in baseball .

Bryce Harper, in the first of what could be 2,1

10 regular season games in a Phillies uniform, was the main attraction on the opening day. The 26-year-old, fresh from a [13459009] monster 13-year-old, $ 330 million deal was applauded for every move he made on Thursday, simply because he made them in a Phillies uniform.

"This place was rockin 'through the game," said Harper after his new team crushed Braves 10-4.

Harper did not have a good day on the record. He knocked out twice, and his first Phillies bat first resulted in a weak outbreak. It didn't matter. The two lasting pictures of the day were:

  • Harper took a bow after receiving a standing ovation when he jogged out of Phillies' home duo for the first time (in bright green Phanatic cleats, no less).
  • The superstar celebrates Rhys Hoskins' seventh-inning grand slam (who came after a deliberate trip to Harper) with a handshake they created in their four weeks as teammates.

Harper's debut in red pinstripes was a moment, Phillies fans had hoped for since they begrudgetly saw the team's rebuilding bottomed out. For the past two years, there was always a sense that Phillies would make a serious effort to turn the bearded right into their franchise cornerstone, but that was never a sure thing. Even the last hours in Harper's drawn-out agency were filled with anxiety in the city of Brotherly Love.

Thursday, Phillies finally got the chance to thank Harper for picking them for 13 years and $ 330 million. 19659002] "We were all happy for the opening day, excited to come back here and play at Citizens Bank and just be part of it," Harper said. "The fan base is very excited, the city is very excited and we share this with the city of Philadelphia and try to ride this all year round."

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Bryce Harper did not all red and white in his Phillies debut.
USATSI

While the applause was new, Harper was familiar with his surroundings. He had played 50 times before at Citizens Bank Park, and the former Washington National had signed several plates for Atlantis starting Julio Tehran than any pitcher in his career.

Harper knows the ballpark so well that the security guard Bank Park's visit club, Butch, was one of the first people he named after he was officially introduced as a Phillie on March 2.

Back at his normal speech on the opening day, Butch said he was pleasantly surprised when he heard Harper's comment. The two became friendly during Harper's time in Washington, when he and Jayson Werth were typically the last two Nationals to leave the stadium. And while Butch was aware that Harper could make a decision and finish in the home club in 2019, he said he never made it a point.

The same cannot be said for all Phillies fans who were free to shout their free agency ideas at Harper 10 different times in 2018. And it became clear recently that if anyone can enjoy a good free bureau pitch, it is Harper.

Minutes after he gave Butch a shout-out at his press conference in Clearwater, Fla., Harper mentioned the idea of ​​another All-Star Outfielder – one who grew up nearby – joined him at Phillies Outfield during few years. Phillies fans quickly embraced the idea, but the pipe dream was short-lived.

Bryce Harper entered his new home ground with a t-shirt with two beloved Philadelphia mascots on opening day 2019. Mike Trout does not come through the door on opening day 2021.

Trout signed an agreement one year shorter and $ 100 million richer than Harpers to stay in Los Angeles just one week before the opening day. While the West Coast of the Trout committed to Philly fans, it highlighted the importance of landing Harper this winter even more. The Phillies have a MVP caliber household name, and they either sink or swim with a team built around him for more than a decade.

As long as Harper does not go 0 to 3 every night, Phillies fans may not need to buy a new jersey for 13 years.


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