“He’s arrogant!” “He’s such a jerk, flipping his hair!” Don’t forget the famous quote, “That’s a clown question.”
That’s the sort of impression you get from the media about Bryce Harper. To be honest, I wasn’t that thrilled at the prospect of getting Harper, I mean who needs that kind of attitude? I was happy for what he could do for us, but that attitude? What I’ve witnessed over the last few days seems very much different from what I thought Bryce Harper was like.
Today, was something 180° from the “image” the image media foists on him. The Harper I saw was soft-spoken, thoughtful and giving of his time.
Harper took live BP off of several minor league pitchers on Roberts field. Video of Harper vs Trevor Bettincourt is HERE. Harper vs Addison Russ is HERE. After each pitcher finished his set, Harper went over, shook their hand and told them what they did well or if there was something that could be improved. He was generous with his knowledge and time.
This doesn’t sound like the guy the media told us he was…does it? He seems so invested in making everyone around him better. That’s not the “selfish jerk” image that was given to him. It’s ANYTHING BUT. I always try to believe the best in everyone which is why I went into the whole Harper thing this week with an open mind. At the press conference to introduce him to the team he said everything you’d want your new franchise player to say. Then to see him today, spending time and sharing knowledge with these young, up and coming pitchers…that’s class. It’s pure class.
After practice, there were may be 15 people there waiting for autographs, myself included. He came and signed for everyone. I told him, “Thank you for coming to Philadelphia, we are glad to have you here.” He looked at the ball he signed for me and said, “Same.” A simple, one word answer that was soft and unassuming. He simply is glad to be here. What more do you need?
I think my favorite story of the day, however, is this one. Standing next to me was this man. he was there with his baby. A year ago his wife gave Harper the sonogram to show her husband and that’s how she told him they were expecting! He had the picture from last year on a poster…
It was the greatest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Before you ask, Harper did sign the little guy’s jersey for his bedroom wall. Just one more bit of proof that Harper is NOT what they want you to think he is, he actually is what we need him to be, a decent soft spoken leader that is kind and respectful to the fans that love him. Welcome to Philly, Bryce, welcome to Philly.