When he was first promoted to the big leagues back in 2012, then-Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper seemed destined to be typecast as a bad boy. His unkempt eye black and oft-dirtied uniform played into a rebellious image that followed him throughout his Washington tenure and beyond.
However, Harper has settled in nicely to a second act as a family man without sacrificing his love for the game. On Sunday, Harper opened up about balancing fatherhood with the grind of being a big-league ballplayer before his Phillies lost to the Nationals in the annual Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa..
“[My kids are] the light of my life, man. They make me happy every day. They thrill me every day. People don’t understand, though, you get taken away from them a lot,” Harper said. “As you guys know in the media, in professional sports, you’re always on the road, always traveling, you miss their first steps, you miss the way they talk. I’m getting emotional. I just love my kids so much.”
Being a dad means everything to Bryce Harper! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dLI8wHUUy1
— MLB (@MLB) August 21, 2023
When ESPN’s announcers pointed out that his 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter were in attendance, Harper gushed even more about them—as only a young father can.
“It’s a blast. I love being a dad. There’s nothing like it. There’s nothing better,” Harper said. “All this doesn’t mean anything compared to being a dad.”