WASHINGTON — Bryce Harper might get you teary eyed in under 60 seconds with an emotional video he posted honoring his ‘Pops’ for Father’s Day.
“He’s my pops,” Harper says of Ron Harper. “He’s my best friend.”
“Growing up, seeing him wake up at 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning, sometimes 2:30, 3 o’clock in the morning. He was an iron worker born and raised in Las Vegas — all the casinos you see downtown, my dad built those. And he’d come right home in blistering heat, it’d be 120 degrees outside and he’d go out and throw to me and hit me ground balls. It just made me want to work hard.
“I definitely get my work ethic from him and he’s just very excited, very happy for me. I tell him all the time, every day I get up and tell him I love him, hope he has a great day. That’s where I get my attitude, that’s where I get everything from, so it’s all about him.”
Harper captioned the video with an equally thoughtful message: “Nobody has influenced my baseball career more than my Pops! He made me want to work hard and I definitely got my work ethic from him! I am honored to wear my New Era Nationals Father’s Day cap this Sunday to pay tribute to him! #HappyFathersDay”
Harper has spoken frequently in the past about how much his father his impacted his life. When he announced he wouldn’t be participating in the Home Run Derby last summer, his reason in part was because his father — who was recovering from shoulder surgery at the time — would not be able to throw to him as he had in the 2013 derby.
Harper also got choked up speaking of his father while accepting his MVP Award in January. Come Father’s Day on Sunday, the Nats will be wrapping up their series in San Diego, a short flight from Harper’s hometown.
So, anyhow, make sure your father doesn’t see this before you give him another tie this Sunday.