It has been well established that Bryce Harper wears number 34 because of his father.
Ron Harper’s (Bryce’s Father) favorite player growing up was Mickey Mantle who wore number 7 for the New York Yankees. Mantle’s number was retired on June 8th, 1969 never to be worn by another player in the Bronx. Bryce grew up in Nevada listening to his father tell stories of Mantle’s exploits as a player. Bryce, in those moments with his father, vowed to become a great baseball player and a New York Yankee. Bryce then chose a number that he could wear when he inevitably made his way to the Bronx.
Thus the idea was crystal clear, simple math would be calculated that would bring about the path to honoring his hero’s (his father) hero Mickey Mantle. 3+4=7 the math and the message was clear, the writing on the proverbial wall. Bryce chose 34 as a number to be worn in the Bronx.
Harper throughout his career has been a polarizing figure. He passion and hard play gets mistaken for arrogance and showboating. Any time Bryce makes a statement it gets over analyzed and dissected. Just like at the beginning of Spring Training when Bryce said that he would not answer any questions in regards to his upcoming free agency, it was taken as cockiness. When it should have been looked at as focusing on the controllable which is the 2018 season.
Now, this is all merely speculation on my part as both a New York Yankee fan and a Bryce Harper fan. Bryce is the type of franchise-changing talent that will be highly coveted by many teams this coming offseason. Harper has serious talent and a drive to be the best player. And it’s with that drive and determination that has Bryce off to arguably the best start of his career. Bryce currently has a slash line of .315/.487/.778 with 8 home runs and 17 rbi’s. Bryce is one of my favorite players to watch as you never truly know what he is capable of. As evidenced by the home run he hit yesterday at Citi Field against the New York Mets.
— #Statcast (@statcast) April 16, 2018
Ultimately, Bryce is in control of his destiny. As long as he remains healthy, Bryce’s 2018 season should propel him into a record-setting free agent contract we have never thought possible. A $400 or even possibly a $500 million dollar contract is not out of the realm of possibility for one of the games most marketable stars.