Call it fearless or call it stupid. Either way, Bryce Harper’s crash into the right-field wall in Los Angeles Monday night caused quite the commotion this week.
Concern even reached the U.S. Senate floor, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) opening Tuesday’s session discussing the 20-year-old outfielder’s face-first encounter with the digital scoreboard, which left him bloodied and required 11 stitches across the bottom of his chin.
“This kid is the most incredible competitor I’ve ever seen,” McConnell said.
In Los Angeles, Harper told reporters the crash injured his legs, shoulder, ribs, knee, wrist and chin. It’s not the first time Harper’s intensity has left him beaten and bruised. Here are three other scary moments from Harper’s young MLB career.
1. April 29, 2012: One of Harper’s first big-league run-ins with a wall came at the scene of his latest high-speed crash, Dodger Stadium. Juan Uribe rocketed a ball to deep center field, with Harper running at full speed to make a play. Harper made a spectacular catch but crashed hard into the wall. He was able to get up and relay a throw to the infield to prevent a baserunner from tagging up. After the game, he said the crash wasn’t as bad as running into the wooden wall at Triple-A Syracuse.
2. May 11, 2012: This was the day Harper earned the nickname “Bam Bam.” During a frustrating outing in Cincinnati, where he finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, the then-rookie vented some anger by slamming his bat against the dugout wall. Unfortunately for Harper, the bat bounced back and hit him above the left eye. Blood streamed down his face and he was left with a large welt that required 10 stitches. “I just got caught up in the moment,” Harper told The Washington Post. “I want to do so well. It just got me.”
3. April 30, 2013: In Atlanta, pitcher Tim Hudson crushed a pitch to deep right field. Harper tracked the ball but appeared unaware that the wall was creeping up on him. He leaped into the air to try to rob Hudson, but the ball popped out of his glove and into the stands for a home run. As the ball was popping out, Harper’s left side thudded against a digital ad on the Turner Field wall. A day later against the Braves, he aggravated his side during an at-bat, which led manager Davey Johnson to pull him in the sixth inning.