The Phillies were prepared to celebrate Harper’s stellar season and enlisted a trio of fellow MVPs to welcome him to the club: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Mike Schmidt.
Rollins doubled down on the love with a tweet for Harper.
The Phillies also enlisted Philadelphia legends from the city’s other teams:
And Eagles QB Jalen Hurts gave a shoutout of his own:
Harper is his franchise’s first MVP in over a decade, since Howard and Rollins went back-to-back in 2006 and 2007. Before them, you’d have to go all the way back to the 80s to see a Phillie MVP; Schmidt was Most Valuable in 1980, 1981, and 1986. And before Schmidt, you’d have to go back to 1950, when Jim Konstanty had a legendary season, closing 62 games and earning 22 saves.
The Philadelphia Phillies already existed for nearly half a century when one of their players won the award; Chuck Klein was the first in 1932. Of course, the award had only existed for a year at the time. On the American League side, the then-Philadelphia Athletics dominated the first three years of the award, with Lefty Grove and Jimmie Foxx winning between 1931-1933.
Can the Phillies build a championship team around Bryce Harper?
Harper now has something elite in common with some of the best players in franchise history, but the next step is clear: Rollins, Howard, and Schmidt each have a World Series ring. If the front office does their job this offseason, maybe Harper will be able to join that exclusive club, too.