Anthony Cosenza used to spend much of his annual spring training trip trying to get baseball players’ autographs. This year, he decided to change directions.
“I have a million autographs, and I don’t know whose they are, but pictures will last forever,” he told me by phone Thursday evening. “I feel like they’re a little bit more meaningful.”
Cosenza, a 21-year old from Staten Island, has been making spring training trips with his grandfather every year for nearly a decade. They go to a bunch of different sites; this year’s itinerary includes visits with the Mets, Tigers, Phillies, Yankees and possibly Blue Jays. Thursday, it was the Nationals.
Near the end of the team’s workout, Bryce Harper finished hitting, and Cosenza asked if they could take a quick picture on his iPhone. Harper begged off, saying he had to go do outfield drills. When he came back a few minutes later, Cosenza asked again. Harper said no problem, took off his sunglasses and posed.
But because there were news cameras around, this became not just a selfie. (Cosenza didn’t know he was posing for others until after Harper left.) The AP’s Alex Brandon got the above picture of the picture; The Post’s Jonathan Newton also captured it, below.
After getting his picture, Cosenza didn’t want to be greedy and ask for an autograph, too, so he went behind the crowd of autograph seekers and figured if they all finished maybe he would. That didn’t happen. He had no regrets.
“I’m actually more happy I got the picture than the autograph,” he said.
Cosenza isn’t particularly a Nationals fan, but he’s always liked Bryce Harper. Now his grandfather agrees.
“He loves Bryce Harper now,” Cosenza told me.