PHILADELPHIA- Bryce Harper wants to take an at-bat in the Olympic Games.
The slugger of the Philadelphia Phillies He said it would be a dream to play for Team USA when baseball returns for the 2028 Los Angeles Games. Harper, who turned 31 on Monday, has been a proponent of Big leagues take a break during the season to allow their players to participate in the Olympic Games.
Harper said his wife sent him a text message wishing him a happy birthday, along with the news of baseball’s return to the Olympic program.
“You talk about growing the sport and that’s the way you grow it to the highest peak,” Harper highlighted. “You allow those who are participating in the league to take a break, just like they do in the NHL and see what happens. I think it would be amazing. It would be very fun. “I don’t know if they will ever make the decision, but I would love to wear ‘USA’ on my chest and represent my country at the highest level.”.
Baseball became an official Olympic sport in 1992 and was initially open exclusively to amateur players. Professional players were later allowed to participate, but Major League Baseball has not allowed its members to participate. The Olympic Games eliminated baseball from the program after the 2008 edition, although it returned in Tokyo 2020, due to the passion that exists in Japan for the sport. However, baseball and softball were not considered for the Paris 2024 edition.
Currently, the tournament in which Major League players are allowed to represent their country is the World Baseball Classic, which held its first edition in 2006. It is held in March, simultaneously with spring camps.
Harper, a two-time National League MVP, is hitting .368 with three home runs for the Phillies in the postseason. He spoke prior to Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies prior to the 2019 season.. For the Games he would be in the tenth year of his contract and at 35 years of age if he had the opportunity to play for the United States in Los Angeles.
“I’ll be older by then, so I don’t know if they’ll want me to be on the team, but it’s always a dream,” Harper said. “I mean, I think everyone’s dream is to be in the Olympics.”