It’s hard to imagine a better start to a major-league career than what Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper has displayed through the first four-plus years of his.
Just 24-years-old, Harper is already a five-time All Star, National League MVP, Silver Slugger Award winner and a recipient of the National League Hank Aaron Award and Golden Spikes Award. The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year hasn’t slowed down since his rookie campaign, and he’s on his way to another big season in the nation’s capital.
While everyone knows the Las Vegas native for his on-field performances and as the face of the Nationals, Harper’s off-field efforts deserve recognition as well.
Harper founded his charitable foundation, Harper’s Heroes, in 2013 to help children fighting cancer. Harper said the motive behind Harper’s Heroes was witnessing cancer strike his high school best friend.
“This is something that really hits home for me,” Harper said in August 2016. “I had a couple friends and family members that have gone through it. So, when I was growing up, I never wanted to do it for the cameras or for the TVs or anything like that. This was all just for me to bring the families in and see the smiles and get them away from the everyday life and that struggle.”
Every summer since the program’s inception in 2013, Harper looks to give children affected by cancer an unforgettable day to remember. He invites the children, as well as their families, out to meet him and catch a game at Nationals Park.
In August 2016, he teamed with New Era Caps to design a hat for Harper’s Heroes, with part of the proceeds from sales going to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I really enjoy the fashion side. … I really enjoy going out and trying to get different things out there that people would like to wear,” Harper said at a press conference last August revealing the cap. “I really went in there thinking about a vintage-style cap that people could wear with anything, if they wanted to wear it to the ballpark, to the grocery store or anything.”
Harper’s philanthropic efforts are not just recognized by his biggest fans, but by some of the biggest members of the Nationals organization.
“You talk about faces of the franchise, you couldn’t have a better ambassador, not only for the game of baseball and Major League Baseball, but also this city and District of Columbia here and Washington,” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo told The Washington Post. “He’s a true Washingtonian in his heart. He loves the area, loves the fan base, and he’s a young player who is making an impact on and off the field, which endears him to our fan base here in Washington and to us in the front office.”
You can read more about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by visiting their official website.
Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.” To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Bryce Harper and other Major Leaguers, please click here.