Doug Pederson offered one theory for why Bryce Harper chose to spend the next 13 years in Philadelphia.
“Because I made a video and sent it to him and said, ‘You need to be in Philly,' ” Pederson said earlier this week at the NFL’s league meeting.
Pederson was joking, but he was serious about his desire to help recruit Harper to Philadelphia. Pederson didn’t remember exactly what he said in the video, but part of his pitch was personal.
“He is my father-in-law’s favorite player, so I said, ‘If you come to Philly, maybe I’ll see my father-in-law more than once a year,” said Pederson, adding that yes, that would be a good thing.
Pederson has experienced Philadelphia sports fans as a player, assistant coach, and head coach. He’s been cheered while parading up Broad Street after the Super Bowl win and booed while ceding his starting job. Pederson said when a player of Harper’s caliber looks at all available options, Philadelphia becomes “almost a no-brainer for athletes.”
“I’m excited for the Phillies organization,” Pederson said. “I’m excited for our city, our fans. Some makings of an exciting year. And we’re just happy that Bryce chose Philadelphia and I know he won’t disappoint and I know that the city won’t disappoint him.”
Pederson also said he has “no doubt” that Harper will fit in Philadelphia and that the fan base will celebrate Harper the way they did Carson Wentz when Wentz arrived in Philadelphia.
“Our city embraces the guys who work hard and are committed to the organization, committed to the fan base, and Bryce has proven that throughout his career and what we’ve seen through spring training so far,” Pederson said. “We’re looking forward to the season kicking off."
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