A Home Run To Remember

DC Sports Nexus ---- Monday, May 14, 2012

It was a Monday night, May 14th 2012 to be exact.  With two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning and nobody on base, in a rather meaningless Major League Baseball game, a fly ball was crushed into the empty turf space behind the center field wall at Nationals Park.  It was a home run...but not your typical home run.

The hitter ran swiftly around the bases with his head down at an unusually fast pace and trotted into the dugout without ever so much as a slight grin on his face.  Each and every person in the rather small crowd scattered throughout the empty ballpark rose up together and clapped and cheered and they watched as his teammates slapped him on the hand in celebration.

The elation on the faces in the crowd was unreal, and a majority of spectators reached immediately for their cameras and cell phones.  Pictures were procured, calls were communicated, text was texted, and Tweets were tweeted.  The stadium was abuzz with technological joy.

These few thousand lucky people who braved the rain and wetness were there in person to witness this historic feet.  They remained on their feet until the player who hit the ball came back out of the dugout and put his pointer finger in the air, giving the #1 symbol to acknowledge them.  It was an amazing day in DC Sports history.

This was the first home run of Bryce Harper's career.


The ball seemed to just lay there on that outfield turf, possibly retrieved by the Nationals and headed to the Hall of Fame. It was surprising that not one fan jumped down there to get it as it would have been worth a hell of a lot of money.  Of course this isn't Philly or Chicago, and the sparse group of fans probably didn't want to risk spending the night in jail for a chance at retrieving a ball that may have been revoked from their possession.

The Chosen One, who had been slumping the week prior to the blast, had finally broken through and hit his first home run in the majors.  The first of what is expected to be an incredible number of homers, although nobody can predict anything for certain.

And what did the 19 year old, a young man riddled with so much pressure a normal man would crack, do in the situation?  Well I can tell you what he didn't do.  He didn't even smile.

He wanted that homerun 53 at bats ago.  In his first ever Major League at bat.  He expected it.  Any other at-bat was not worth the effort required to contort his mouth in an upward fashion.

So now the pressure is off, the homerun has been hit, and there are hopefully hundreds more of them to come.  However no matter how many he ends up hitting, or how many he ends up not hitting, this particular hit on a random Monday night in May will not soon be forgotten in D.C.

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