May 13- Bryce Harper signs $21 Million Contract Extension and then hits a Walk-Off Home Run
2017- On this Day in Sports History, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals signed a contract extension for one year worth $21.6 million and then hit a walk-off home run to beat the Philadelphia Phillies. Needless to say, Bryce Harper had a great day.
It was announced in the afternoon on May 13, 2017 that Bryce Harper signed a one year extension for the next season that would pay him $21,625,000. Harper, who was 24 at the time, was one of the MLB’s brightest stars and the 2015 NL MVP. The extension allowed the Nationals and Harper to avoid arbitration as he would have been a free agent after the 2017 season. The deal gave certainty to both sides that Harper would stay in Washington D.C. for the next season.
Later that evening, the Nationals faced the Phillies in a 7:00 game at Nationals park. The game didn’t start out very good for Harper as he was 0-3 heading into his final at bat. It was the bottom of the ninth inning in a 4-4 game. Edubray Ramos came into pitch for the Phillies. Harper was due up fourth in the inning so someone had to at least get on base for Harper to be given a chance to bat in the inning. Adam Lind did so as he led off and singled. However, Trea Turner struck out and Chris Heisey popped out. Bryce Harper walked up to bat with two outs and a runner on first. On a 0-1 pitch, Harper crushed a ball over the center field wall for a 2-run walk off home run to win the game for the Nationals 6-4.
The home run was Harper’s 11th home run and 2nd walk-off home run of the season. He finished the 2017 season with 29 home runs and his fifth all-star appearance. The Nationals won their Division but lost in Game 5 of the NLDS that season.
The Phillies must have liked what they saw after Harper signed his contract and won the game on this day in 2017. After his contract was up in 2018, the Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a record contract of $330 million for 13 years.
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Kubzansky, Will. “Bryce Harper Had a Bit of a Day on Saturday...” Federal Baseball, SB Nation, 14 May 2017
“Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Box Score, May 13, 2017.” Baseball Reference