The Philadelphia Phillies introduced Bryce Harper on Saturday. The All-Star outfielder will wear No. 3 for his new club.
“This process has been a long one, but it’s been a lot of fun as well,” said Harper via MLB.com. “It’s good to feel wanted by the Phillies organization and the fan base. I love my family very much, and Philly is going to be part of that family for a long time. I wanted to be somewhere for a long period of time, and I wanted to finish my career somewhere.
“I can’t wait to get on the field and make Philly Nation proud.”
Harper, 26, signed a 13-year $330 million contract with Philadelphia this week. The deal does not have opt-outs but it does include a full no-trade clause.
Harper explained his decision to change his number from 34 to 3 is because of the late Roy Halladay, who wore 34 for the Phillies.
“I think Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear it,” Harper said. “Somebody that played the game the right way. A great person. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”
Halladay died in 2017 in an airplane crash. He’ll be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this July.
As for Harper, he’ll lead the Phillies and their rebuilt roster to contend in the National League in 2019 and beyond.