Harper Comes Home
On June 8, 2010, the Washington Nationals lived quite probably the most exciting day in the history of the young franchise. In front of a packed house, heralded young pitcher Stephen Strasburg, selected first overall in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft one year prior, made his much-anticipated debut. He did not disappoint. Striking out 14 batters over seven innings and leading the Nationals to victory, Strasburg ushered in a new era of Nationals baseball to D.C.
Some could argue, though, that the new era truly began a day earlier, when the franchise used its second consecutive number one overall pick on 17 year-old Bryce Harper, the most talked about position prospect in decades to come out of the amateur ranks.
Just shy of two years later, it is Harper who comes to Washington tonight to make his own debut in the Nation’s Capital. He will be hard-pressed to eclipse Strasburg’s legendary effort (the “14-K Gold” headlines, et al), but if you know anything about Harper, you know he will try.
Of course, the young slugger’s Major League debut came over the weekend under the lights in Los Angeles, and included a go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning and a highlight reel catch the next day as he slammed into the center field wall. But tonight, Nationals fans get their first opportunity to see Harper (and don’t forget Tyler Moore) up close and in person for the very first time. Tonight, the movement that began with Strasburg two years ago takes its next big step.
You’ll never have another chance to see Bryce Harper’s first game in Washington. This is something you can tell your children and grandchildren about. Who knows what he will do, how tonight will turn out? The only thing you have control over is whether or not you will be here to watch it happen.