Harper’s debut cause for celebration in Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Bryce Harper, last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick by the Washington Nationals, made his home debut for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns on Friday night, going 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in an 8-4 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Phillies’ South Atlantic League affiliate.

The game, the home crowd’s first chance to get a peek at the slugging catcher-turned-right fielder, drew a sellout crowd of 6,017 to 80-year-old Municipal Stadium, making it perhaps the most memorable debut since future Hall of Famer Willie Mays played his first professional game in the same venue in 1950.

Harper’s arrival was cause for celebration in the Washington County town, where fans milled about in a pregame celebration that featured entertainment and special souvenirs to mark the arrival of the 18-year-old phenom. MASNsports.com’s Byron Kerr and multimedia producer Matt Winter were among the media throng covering Harper’s home debut, and filed this report:

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