Bryce Harper pays homage to Mike Schmidt in epic Phillies recreation
The past and present of Philadelphia Phillies superstardom collided on Thursday, when the Phillies unveiled their 2022 Media Guide.
On the cover, resplendent in vintage glory, is Bryce Harper, recreating Mike Schmidt’s cover from the 1987 guide.
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
Bryce Harper recreated Mike Schmidt’s iconic photo for Phillies’ 2022 media guide
Schmidt had an incredible season (what else is new?) in 1986, leading the National League with 37 home runs, which wasn’t even close to his career-high (48), and 119 RBI. He also led the NL in slugging (.547), OPS (.937), and OPS+ (153). For his efforts, the legendary third baseman was an All-Star and won MVP, and a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.
Last season, Harper led all of MLB in slugging (.615), OPS (1.044), and OPS+ (179), and tied for the lead with 42 doubles, a new career-high. He wasn’t an All-Star, which is outrageous in retrospect, but he did win his second career MVP and Silver Slugger.
There are many parallels that make this photo recreation amazing, but one significant fact makes them vastly different. 1987 would end up being the second-to-last full season of Schmidt’s career. The accolades the 37-year-old posed with – his third MVP award, tenth Gold Glove, and sixth Silver Slugger – were ones he’d never win again.
Harper is only 29 and has already played a full decade in the majors. Signed to the richest contract in North American pro sports history at the time, he will be a Phillie until 2031.
Imagine what his trophy case will look like then.