Houston, you have a problem! It is not an explosion in outer space. Instead, it is the bang of Bryce Harper’s bat. Bryce smacked a bottom-of-the-eight-home run to clinch the Phillies’ spot in the World Series.
The Split-Second that Changed Everything
The crack of Bryce’s bat changed everything in a split second.
Bryce knew it was a home run before he even hit the ball. When Harper was leaving the dugout, he said to Kevin Long, the Phillies batting coach, “Let’s give them something to remember.”
Being down in the hole with two strikes, it was lucky pitch 7 when destiny blinked. Suarez threw his fastest sinker ball at 98.9 MPH. And crack! Watching the replay, Suarez turned and put his hand on his hip and probably expressed a few expletives in his head as he watched the ball fly on its way to victory. His body language said it all.
And as for Harper, he stared at the ball before running, actually walking his way to first base. Even Bryce knew it. And as Harry Kallis used to say, “That ball is outa here!”
But before making his victory trot around the bases, Harper said he looked at the dugout after he hit the ball.And like life’s moments flashing before his eyes, in a split second or all fused into one, he said this is for the whole team, this whole organization, and every single fan here and not. It is for all of them. It has been a long time.
The quick camera flash angle of The Padre’s faces in the dugout changed from intense to disheartening. They knew where the ball was going. Their only hope was for lightning or a bird to hit the ball to stop it from getting over the wall. Sorry Padres, but destiny was calling.
As for the fans, thousands were screaming and cheering to give the ball the energy it needed to clear the left field wall. It barely cleared the fence, and the home run became a reality. Goosebumps exploded on 43,035 fans present at the game and every Philadelphian that night. And it was the exact moment the Padre’s spirit was broken.
Afterward, in the dugout, still, in disbelief, the reality did not yet set in for Bryce. Instead, he was caught on video saying, “Oh my gosh, I just did that!”
Bryce Harper- A Force to be Reckoned With
Bryce is one of the best hitters in the NBL this year. He seems to be able to command hits from his bat at will, like a wizard and his wand. This feeling takes me back to the days of Mike Schmidt. Fear became a pitcher’s reality when he stepped up to the plate. Harper is batting .419 in the playoffs, and his unforgettable home run was his 18th hit for the Phillies’ setting a postseason record.
Harper’s personality is laid back. But true motivation and inspiration lie within. He is seen walking around the clubhouse like a possessed man. He walks around murmuring to himself and others, “We are not losing tonight,” repeatedly. It is determination that empowers choice, not chance, that creates destiny.
Bryce makes about $44,929 each time he steps up to the plate. Or you can look at it as earning $156,695 per game. His yearly salary is $25.3 million. So, if the Phillies win the World Series, the MLB will give the champions $35 million. So, I guess it is definitely a payoff this year for the organization.
His homerun will be etched in the minds of Philly fans forever. Now it is time to prepare to play against the Astros. It has been 13 years since the Phillies’ last appearance—time to grease the poles again.
(Before the Phillies won the NLCS against the Padres, the City of Philadelphia put grease on the light poles to prevent people from climbing them. For some reason, the fans love to do this. And 13 years ago, it cost the city thousands of dollars in damages.)