Washington fans expressed some antipathy toward the former Nationals' outfielder, who took the field in D.C. for the first time since signing with the Phillies.
The Phillies' Bryce Harper made his much-anticipated return to Nationals Park on Tuesday after signing with Philadelphia this past offseason, and Washington fans didn't greet him with a warm welcome.
When Harper came to the plate in the top of the first inning, Washington fans booed the former Nationals' outfielder. Harper's former teammate, Max Scherzer, swung him out, and the crowd cheered loudly for the whiff.
The Nationals also celebrated Harper striking out and shared some shade on Twitter after he walked back to the dugout.
thank u, next— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 2, 2019
Harper was even met with boos before the game started. A tribute video of his career with the Nationals played before the first pitch, and Washington fans didn't have a good reaction to it. Fans also booed the outfielder when the Phillies' lineup was introduced and later when he stood on the on-deck circle before his first at-bat.
Wow, loud boos at Nationals Park as Bryce Hapers name is announced in the Phillies starting lineup— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) April 2, 2019
What a bizarre scene. Bryce Harper stood at the bat rack in the dugout as a tribute video played. Resounding boos. He never emerged from dugout.— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) April 2, 2019
Harper signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in February after playing the first seven seasons of his Major League career with the Nationals. Entering Tuesday's game, Harper, who was also booed by Phillies' fans on opening day, was hitting .333 with two home runs and four walks in 13 total plate appearances. Earlier Tuesday, Harper posted a heartfelt message thanking the Nationals and their fans on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
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. Five years later, I’m doing just that. I remember the first day I walked into Nats Park. My first base hit. My first home run. And, of course, my first standing ovation. Nationals fans delivered that first ovation. The things that I will miss most are the relationships I gained on a personal level with so many of the Nationals staff and workers around the ballpark. Every day I walked in, I got a smile or shared a laugh with you. I especially want to thank The Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo for the unwavering support they showed me during my tenure in DC. The city of DC was home. Filomena’s, The Silver Diner, The Italian store, and countless other places helped make it feel like home. You, Nationals fans, made me one of your own for the entire time I was a part of the Nationals organization. I’m so blessed to have been able to play for a fan base that cared so much about our team each and every night. You will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what. I look forward to continuing Harpers Heroes with LLS in the DMV as well as making sure the legacy fields bearing my name are the best youth fields in town! When I run on the field tonight I am sure to hear some boos, 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.
In seven seasons with the Nationals, Harper had 184 home runs and 521 RBI. The Phillies currently sit atop the National League East at 3-0, while the Nationals are 1-2 this season.