Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper posted a heartfelt thank you to the Nationals and their fans on Instagram on Tuesday morning. The note was shared just hours ahead of Harper's first visit to Washington, D.C. since signing a 13-year, $330 million deal with Philadelphia this past offseason.
"If you would have told me 5 years ago I would be walking into Nationals Park as an opposing player, I would’ve told you that you were crazy," Harper captioned his post, which featured a cartoon graphic of him winning the 2018 Home Run Derby at Nationals Park. "Five years later, I’m doing just that."
Harper spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Nationals. The former No. 1 pick debuted in 2012 as a 19-year-old and went on to notch six All-Star Game appearances and one National League MVP Award during his tenure with Washington.
Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that the Nationals' final contract offer to Harper, which was deemed underwhelming, arrived via envelope. Enclosed was a 10-year, $300 million offer.
Through three games with the Phillies, Harper has batted 3-for-9 (.333), with two home runs and one double.
First pitch for Tuesday's contest between the Nationals and Phillies is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.
"When I run on the field tonight I am sure to hear some boos," Harper wrote, "but I will always remember the cheers and the screams that are still with me right now, as I start my new chapter. So for that, DC, THANK YOU. (sic)"