It finally happened. Bryce Harper gave his thank you and farewell to Washington Nationals fans on Instagram today, on the day that he will stand in the visitor’s dugout at Nats Park for the first of many times in his career.
In the post, Harper talks about some of his favorite moments while donning the Curly W, the places that he’s going to miss the most, and thanks everyone involved with the organization during the first seven seasons of his major league career.
From Harper 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 [Harper’s] 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.
Despite this farewell post, he’s still expected to be greeted with a somewhat hostile reception in his return, a reception that the outfielder acknowledges in his post, as he remembers the good time he had in the nation’s capital.
One of the most highly anticipated regular season games at Nationals Park is just a few hours away, and, unsurprisingly, Harper will be the center of attention.