Bryce Harper homers in first two at-bats of 2013 season

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  • Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), center, gets high fives from teammates after hitting a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), center, gets high fives from teammates after hitting a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), hits a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), hits a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), hits a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper (34), hits a solo home run in the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) makes a diving catch to throw out the final out of the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) makes a diving catch to throw out the final out of the first inning as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
  • Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws out the first pitch as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws out the first pitch as the Washington Nationals play the Miami Marlins on opening day at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Bryce Harper celebrated the first Opening Day of his young major league career in style, hitting home runs to right field in his first two at-bats of the season.

Harper, who made all the analysts who selected him as their preseason National League Most Valuable Player feel good about themselves, saw eight total pitches in his first two at-bats.

In the first at-bat, he looked at a splitter from Ricky Nolasco and then sent a curveball into the right-field seats on a line drive. In the second at-bat, he worked the count to 3-2, looking at a changeup, a fastball and a splitter and fouling off a fastball and a slider.

When Nolasco delivered a 3-2 slider, Harper again sent it into the right-field seats, sending a packed Nationals Park into pandemonium and giving the Nationals a 2-0 lead.

As the fans at Nationals Park continued to shower the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year with cheers, Ryan Zimmerman stepped out of the batter’s box and Harper gave the fans what they wanted: a curtain call. 

It is the third multi-homer game of Harper’s career, and the second to come against the Miami Marlins.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harper joins Ryan Howard as the last Rookie of the Year to hit a home run on Opening Day in the year after earning the honors. Howard did it in 2006. 

In a story in Monday’s Washington Times, Harper talked about embracing superstardom. With half of his first career Opening Day in the major leagues in the books, he’s already added to his own lore. 

 

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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