MLB’s new Opening Day video disrespects Bryce Harper, Phillies
Bryce Harper excluded from MLB Opening Day hype video
In 2009, a 16-year-old Bryce Harper graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. Next to a photo of him in his powerful hitting stance were three words: “Baseball’s Chosen One.” Tom Verducci, who profiled the then-high schooler, called him the “most exciting prodigy since LeBron.”
The following spring, he was the first-overall pick in the 2010 June Amateur Draft. Less than two years after that, he made his big-league debut at only 19 years old.
The first decade of his career has included six All-Star seasons, winning the Home Run Derby, Rookie of the Year, two Silver Slugger awards, and two National League MVPs. He signed the richest contract in North American pro sports history when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies in March 2019.
Last season, he led MLB in slugging, OPS, OPS+, and a career-high 42 doubles, to win his second Silver Slugger and MVP awards.
Sounds like the kind of guy you’d want to use for a pre-Opening Day hype video, right?
On Tuesday, MLB dropped one of their classic Opening Day week videos to get social media all riled up, but Phillies fans quickly noticed the glaring absence of MV3.
I was curious, so I fell down a Twitter Advance Search rabbit hole of old MLB hype videos. Harper wasn’t featured in last year’s videos, either.
He got a whole one-second cameo in this one, though.
And another much-too-brief cameo in this one, from 2020:
And while Harper probably doesn’t care about this, given how infrequently he tweets (until last month, he hadn’t tweeted since Opening Day 2021) and the fact that he’s focused on actually playing baseball, Phillies fans certainly care. They watched Zack Wheeler get snubbed all year in 2021, and it’s unfair. Even J.T. Realmuto’s brief cameo at the 6-second mark in the video is him missing the tag on Trea Turner at home plate. It fits the theme of the video, to be sure, but it’s yet another reminder that the Phillies never get any credit.
Harper is the reigning NL MVP because he was one of the best hitters in the entire game last season. He’s exactly the kind of player MLB should be highlighting to grow the game.
So, what’s it going to take for Phillies players and the team itself to get the credit they deserve? Probably a postseason run.