Is Bryce Harper the face of Philadelphia sports? You bet.

In a city full of stars, a few names stand out, each bringing their unique characteristics, demeanor, and vibes to Philly. However, none of them have embraced the city and culture of Philadelphia quite like number 3.
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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In a recent segment on MLB Network's popular show "MLB Tonight," Greg Amsinger, Anthony Recker, and former MLB star Cameron Maybin discussed the question, who is the real face of Philadelphia sports?

At this moment, there are three to four true Philadelphia stars that could have a legit case for being the face of the city.

Joel Embiid has been playing an exceptional level of basketball for the past few years, even earning his first MVP award in 2023 for the Sixers. Jalen Hurts has quickly adopted the Philadelphia style of game and demeanor. His play has elevated the Eagles to one of the premier teams in the NFL, leading them to a spot in the 2023 Super Bowl. Jason Kelce has become a Philadelphia folklore legend as his 13-year career with the Eagles has made him one of the longest-tenured Eagles ever. His community outreach and overall personality have made him a fan-favorite among almost anyone you ask.

That being said, none of it compares to what Bryce Harper has done for the city of Philadelphia and the Phillies organization since 2019.

When Bryce Harper was signed to his massive 13-year, $330 million deal back in 2019, there were definitely some mixed feelings among fans. A guy who had been labeled as a "punk kid" by many, signing a life-long contract to play in one of the most ruthless cities in sports doesn't seem like the best idea at surface level. However, his talent and resume were enough for owner John Middleton and former general manager Matt Klentak to pull the trigger.

And it's a good thing they did.

In just his first five seasons in Philadelphia, the former MVP has made moments that will last in Phillies and Philadelphia history forever. What Harper has been able to do in a short amount of time on and off the field for the city, community, fans, players, and people around him is unmatched. His impact has started a domino effect that has everyone bought back into Phillies baseball.

Athletes want to play with Bryce Harper

After the success of the Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins era of the early 2000s, there wasn't much hope for Phillies baseball. Until 2022, the Phillies were the owners of the longest postseason baseball drought in the league at 11 years.

When Bryce Harper rolled into town for his first press conference in March of 2019, he spoke about how he wanted to bring a title back to this city, and no one even knew how much he meant that.

Over the next five years Harper held true to his word, recruiting some guys along the way.

Players such as Kyle Schwarber, Nick Castellanos, and Trea Turner have all highlighted the appreciation and influence of Harper to get them to play in Philadelphia. There has been no hiding that other players enjoy being around Harper, but he has also pitched how great the city of Philadelphia is.

Along with that, Harper has pushed for playing time for some other key pieces of the current Phillies roster, like his fellow Nevada native and former Spring Training roommate Bryson Stott, as well as Jeff Hoffman, one of the key pieces to the back end of the 2023 bullpen.

For a city with no real path to success before his arrival and no postseason action in over a decade, acquiring three of the biggest free agents of the past three offseasons is no small feat. Philly has become a place where athletes want to play again. With the help of the future Hall-of-Famer, there's new life for baseball in Philadelphia.