Why does Bryce Harper wear green cleats?

Ever wonder why Bryce Harper wears bright green cleats? He wears them to support a good friend of his — a friend you might know.
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies / Drew Hallowell/GettyImages

Have you ever sat down to watch a Phillies game with the players in their sharp red and white uniforms, hats and socks and then seen a random pair of bright green cleats? You might have thought, "Why green? The Phillies aren't green."

You would be right about that. The Phillies uniforms, in all variations, have never included green. 

One player decided he would change that. All-Star Bryce Harper has his own unique way of styling his uniforms through colorful cleats, gloves, headbands and necklaces. The pop of color he chooses, more often than not, is bright green.

Why does Bryce Harper wear green cleats?

Again, why green? Well, he is choosing to honor one of his closest friends and somebody who means everything to the Phillies organization: the Phillie Phanatic. 

The big, green, goofy Galapagos Island character is the inspiration behind Harper's green cleats. He has sported different styles of Phanatic-themed cleats over the years. He first wore them on Opening Day 2019, Harper's first Phillies home game. He instantly won over the hearts of every Phillies fan that day when he came out for his debut wearing green cleats in honor of the best mascot in baseball.

When asked why he chose to wear the cleats, Harper said: "Thought it'd be cool. Why not? Just bring some fun to the game. The Phanatic is always happy and smiling."

Harper not only wears Phanatic cleats, but he often rocks a Phanatic headband as well as green gloves. During spring training this year, he debuted a green Phanatic bat during photo day.

This is just another example of how Bryce Harper dove headfirst into the Philly way when he arrived in 2019, embracing the city wholeheartedly and showing respect for the team's traditions.

Since then, the Phanatic and Harper have become the best of friends. Harper even gives the Phanatic a birthday gift every year. This year, Harper gifted him a brand-new baseball glove!

How did the iconic, lovable, big green guy come to be?

The Phillie Phanatic was created by Bonnie Erickson, a known creator of puppets, toys and such, and introduced to fans in April 1978. In a 2019 interview, Erickson said that the Phanatic's body was created to look funny and have its own character. His snout was made to resemble a megaphone. She describes him as, "A purely fantasy animal."

Over the years, the Phanatic has topped list after list of mascot rankings. He is undoubtedly the best mascot in sports. His antics are not typical mascot antics. The Phanatic is known for shaking his belly, sticking his tongue out, giving big face kisses, and being the biggest troll toward opponents. The Phanatic is Philly. He is tough and passionate, just like the fans.

The relationship between the Phillies' biggest star, Bryce Harper, and the Phillie Phanatic is one created out of love, comedy and, most importantly, dedication to the team and to the city. The Phanatic holds a special place in the hearts of long-time Phillies fans. Harper recognized that and created his own bond with the character, showing once and for all he is Philly and Philly is him.