Bryce Harper gets emotional after last game

Brian Tinsman
September 30, 2018 - 9:50 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Like a wind-up music box, the Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper have twirled for seven mostly happy seasons together. As the music has slowed in recent weeks and the team faded down the stretch, the question has been whether or not the two sides would agree to re-wind the box on a long-term deal.

On Sunday afternoon, the final note played at Coors Field in Denver.

Talking with MASN's Dan Kolko after the game, Harper finally showed an element of emotion that has been missing, as both sides have spent most of the season posturing for offseason negotiations. Harper, who has played without apologies, has become the consummate professional sound bite player this season: interesting for some, but a little dull.

Sunday was different. Sunday, it finally became real.

As he reflected on his final at-bat in the ninth inning, he let the emotion flow, even if the words escaped him.

"I think that...I think that it's been tough. Sometimes you go up there and you never know what's going to happen. It's like you said," he said, with his voice wavering. "I'm getting a little emotional right now because you never know. But I was happy to be able to go up there and hit a double, to be able to ride off like that.

"If I'm back then I'd love to be, and if not, we'll see what happens."

Most Nats fans were thousands of miles away, and even most of those turned their attention to something other than baseball for a meaningless Game 162. But Harper thanked them anyway, for their years of support.

"I just want to thank them. They were the first ones to give me a standing O, to be able to hit a walk-off homer and have them cheering me," he reminisced. "Then, to show up every single night and day-in, day-out, they were with us. From the first time I stepped foot in that stadium, they had my back and they were behind me.

"I can't thank them enough and I love D.C. That's what it's all about."

 

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