On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon on top of the home dugout at Spectrum Field, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Florida the team introduced their most exciting free agent acquisition in years.
Bryce Harper, the 26-year-old superstar outfielder took the dais with his agent, Scott Boras. They were joined by Phillies principal owner John Middleton and general manager Matt Klentak for a question-and-answer session with the gathered media.
After a quick introduction from broadcaster Tom McCarthy, Harper delivered a personal statement prior to the actual press conference. In his statement, the new Phillies right fielder even mentioned Phillies Nation!
Here is the full text of Bryce Harper’s pre-presser statement:
“I just wanta thank my parents. Thank my wife. This process has definitely been a long one, but it’s been a lot of fun as well. It’s good to feel wanted. It’s good to feel wanted by the Phillies organization, by the fan base, by the city as well. I love my family very much and Philly is going to be a part of that family for a very long time.”
“Also, I’d like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Middleton. From the moment that we had dinner together and talked it felt right. It felt like a home. It felt like somewhere I could be for a long time. And that was important to me. I’m gonna grow my family in this city, and that’s the biggest thing for me. I wanted to be somewhere for a long period of time. I wanted to finish my career somewhere, and they made that commitment to me, and I can’t wait to be a part of the Phillies for a long period of time.”
“Matt (Klentak), Andy (club president MacPhail), Ned (assistant GM Rice), being able to sit down in meetings with you guys as well and knowing how committed you guys are to the Phillies organization, to the minor league side, to the big-league side as well. Being able to see that from afar for a long period of time, for the last seven years, I’ve grown to love playing in Philly. I love playing in Citizens Bank Park. It feels good to know that they are very committed to this organization and to the fans and to the city, and that means a lot.”
“Also, I’d like to thank Scott (Boras) – we’ve been through it. We were just talking, I’ve been with Scott for about 12 years now. Not officially at 14 (chuckles by he and Boras), but at 17. It’s been a long ride. It’s been a lot of fun. Scott’s been through a lot in this process, and also Mike Fiore, Bill and Tyler as well, and everybody with the Boras Group, whether it’s Luis or Champ or anybody. Kurt Stillwell at the beginning. It’s a big family as well.”
“So, I’m very happy, very proud to be able to put this uniform on, and I can’t wait to get on that field and do Phillies Nation proud, and do everything I can to bring love to the city, and do the things I can to help in the community and bring that family-oriented thing to the clubhouse and be part of that group.”
“I’m excited to get started, and here’s to a new chapter. Here’s to a new phase in the life of everybody in Philly. I’m excited to be part of it. Thank you.”
We already have plenty of Harper coverage at Phillies Nation and have more coming for you, including a full recap of that press conference.
MORE BRYCE HARPER COVERAGE:
- Harper: I thought Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear number 34
- Hail to the Chief! John Middleton spends “stupid” money on smart moves
- Pressure now on Gabe Kapler following the Harper signing
- How the Harper addition affects the rest of the Phillies outfielders
- From rival to revered: Phillies Nation will love fiery superstar Bryce Harper