Harper: 'I want to run through a wall for this city'


Quite possibly, no star athlete has endeared himself to Philadelphia as well as Bryce Harper. 

Now entering season No. 2 as a Phillie, Harper talked about his relationship with the fan base after his first season playing in the tough, blue-collar city. 

"I just knew that coming into Philly they want you to work hard and they hold you accountable, and I love that," Harper told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show live in Clearwater on Thursday morning.

"My dad and my family always held me accountable growing up, they always wanted me to work hard and do everything I could to be a good person, a good baseball player and that's what I want to do for this city. I want to go out there and be the best baseball player I can be each night and I want to run hard, I want to play hard, and I want to run through a wall for this city.

"Every single time I went out there they held me accountable, 0 for 4, 4 for 4. But also, they were there for me as well. It's not like they just hammered me, hammered me, hammered me. And they didn't, they really didn't. They were there for me as well. If I did go 0 for 4, of course I had a couple boos, but there were there for me as well. And they were pulling me and doing everything they could to help, it's a lot of fun. Going through free-agency a lot of people are scared to play in Philly because they hear about the fan base or hear about the city, but I wasn't. I was so excited. I played there as a visitor my first seven or eight years in the big leagues and I loved every minute going in there. Every time I went in Citizens Bank I was excited to go in there and play. You look at the fan base, they love the Eagles, they love the Flyers, they love the Sixers and that's the Phillies as well. We have a great fan base and I'm very excited to be a part of this for a long time."

Cataldi asked Harper if he feels more comfortable now in season two, without the whirlwind of free-agency. 

"Yeah—hold on, let me go back," Harper said, cutting himself off. "I don't want it to be easy. I really want it to be a grind every day. I want to do everything I can to help bring this city a championship, on the baseball field of course. I want to grind and do everything I can each day to help this team win, but also I want it to be easy on the family side. 

Bryce Harper on coming to Philly @SportsRadioWIP @WIPMorningShow pic.twitter.com/W5v5cVoCyW

— Cindy Webster (@CindyWeb94) March 5, 2020

"That part is definitely is going to transition to be a little bit easier for us and that's just going to transition into baseball and be a lot easier to go to the field and enjoy it. Philadelphia has welcome me with open arms, welcomed my family, my teammates have welcomed me as well. No place I'd rather be."