If I were to keep it simple, I’d summarize watching Bryce Harper play baseball as fun because it is - whether it was his post-draft introductory press conference (where he took batting practice before the formal session), his home debut at Nationals Park, the time he stole home off Cole Hamels or Tuesday night’s first career walk-off.
I know I’ll always kick myself for missing his first career home run.
A friend and I were going to make it to that game too. We were planning on it, rain got in the way, we thought the game would get rained out - excuses aside, we didn’t make it and we missed the home run but still managed to catch it on television.
The reason I bring this all up weeks after the fact is because of the 12-inning victory against the New York Mets on Tuesday night. If you’re interested in being an active part of baseball history and engaging in the community of lifelong fans, then setting up shop at Nats Park might be a good idea.
Part of this fun” I alluded to in the opening paragraph is due in part to watching Harper grow during his rookie season. He’s coming off a wonderful start and a great May in which he snagged the Rookie of the Month honors. He’s passionate. And - most importantly - he’s in the lineup.
Unless drastic circumstances arise, Harper’s likely to stay put on the 25-man roster. This, of course, is no guarantee, but I’d venture to guess that it’s at least safe to say. That means that each game he plays is an opportunity for a career first for him and a memorable baseball moment for the fans, the Nationals and Washington at large.
Then, just like last night, Harper has hit through several attempts for a late-game heroic effort ending in a walk-off. Challenge one day, career first the next - it’s that evolving dichotomy that makes watching a rookie, especially Harper, so exhilarating.
Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation’s capital as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.