‘A special place in my heart’ — Bryce Harper posts message for Nationals fans

As Bryce Harper prepares for his first game in the District as an opponent, he sent a message thanking fans, the Nationals organization and the entire D.C. area.

In a message on Instagram, Harper wrote that he was “so blessed to have been able to play for a fan base that cared so much about our team each and every night. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what.”

Harper shouted out several of his favorite D.C. spots, including Filomena’s, Silver Diner and Arlington’s Italian Store, and added, “You, Nationals fans, made me one of your own for the entire time I was a part of the Nationals organization.”

He also thanked the Lerner family and general manager Mike Rizzo for their “unwavering support,” and said of the staff on the team and at the ballpark, “Every day I walked in, I got a smile or shared a laugh with you.”

“If you would have told me [five] years ago I would be walking into Nationals Park as an opposing player, I would’ve told you that you were crazy,” Harper said, adding that he was confident that “when I run on the field tonight I am sure to hear some boos, but I will always remember the cheers and the screams that are still with me right now, as I start my new chapter. So for that, DC, THANK YOU.”

He also said he would continue his Harper’s Heroes program, which allows kids battling various cancers to have an outing at Nats Park, and would make sure “the legacy fields bearing my name are the best youth fields in town!”

Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies last month after spending the first seven years of his career with the Nationals. He won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2012 and Most Valuable Player in 2015, and won the All-Star Home Run Derby in Nats Park last year.

He’s hit two homers in his first three games with the Phillies, helping them to a 3-0 start, and on Monday he and his wife, Kayla, announced they were expecting a baby boy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

If you would have told me 5 years ago I would be walking into Nationals Park as an opposing player, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. Five years later, I’m doing just that. I remember the first day I walked into Nats Park. My first base hit. My first home run. And, of course, my first standing ovation. Nationals fans delivered that first ovation. The things that I will miss most are the relationships I gained on a personal level with so many of the Nationals staff and workers around the ballpark. Every day I walked in, I got a smile or shared a laugh with you. I especially want to thank The Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo for the unwavering support they showed me during my tenure in DC. The city of DC was home. Filomena’s, The Silver Diner, The Italian store, and countless other places helped make it feel like home. You, Nationals fans, made me one of your own for the entire time I was a part of the Nationals organization. I’m so blessed to have been able to play for a fan base that cared so much about our team each and every night. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what. I look forward to continuing Harpers Heroes with LLS in the DMV as well as making sure the legacy fields bearing my name are the best youth fields in town! When I run on the field tonight I am sure to hear some boos, but I will always remember the cheers and the screams that are still with me right now, as I start my new chapter. So for that, DC, THANK YOU.

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bryceharper3) on


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