Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bryce Harper donned a very special pair of cleats to celebrate Opening Day in MLB on Thursday.
Before his team took on the Atlanta Braves in the season opener, the 28-year-old emerged from the dugout wearing a pair of kicks inspired by the infamous Philly Phanatic. The cleats did their best to resemble the organization’s mascot and even had tufts of green fur attached.
It’s not the first time that Harper has gotten attention for his Phanatic-themed Opening Day outfits. The Phillies outfielder has worn something related to the Philadelphia mascot in each of his two previous season openers with the organization.
Take a look at this year’s edition of cleats, courtesy of Cut4:
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 1, 2021
Harper changed out his eccentric shoes before the first pitch despite pleas from Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to play in the Phanatic pumps, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Phillies might’ve benefitted from Harper’s outfit choice as they went on to down their NL East rival in extra innings, 3-2. Harper scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth to give the team the win in the 2021 season opener. The 28-year-old outfielder ended the day 1-for-4, with a walk and a strikeout.
Harper enters his third year with the Phillies after leaving the Washington Nationals to sign a massive contract to with the rival organization. He hasn’t been able to meet the lofty expectations set out for him in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, so there’s a lot riding on the 2021 campaign.
Maybe the Phanatic cleats can be Bryce Harper’s good luck charm later this summer.
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