D.C. Council honors Bryce Harper, Davey Johnson

Nats outfielder Bryce Harper and Nats manager Davey Johnson were honored with ceremonial resolutions on Tuesday by D.C. councilmember Vincent Orange. (Tim Craig/The Washington Post)

City business slowed dramatically Tuesday morning when Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper and team officials visited the D.C. Council to receive a ceremonial resolution.

Council members, staffers and reporters crowded around Harper as he walked through the John A. Wilson Building into the council chamber. Nationals manager Davey Johnson, general manager Mike Rizzo and Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, chairwoman of the Lerner family foundation, accompanied Harper.

During their visit, the council presented separate ceremonial resolutions to Harper and Johnson in honor of the team’s winning 2012 season. It was used as an opportunity for the council to once again pat itself on the back for helping bring baseball back to the District in 2005.

Nearly all of the council members crowded around Harper and Johnson as they stood in front of the dais to receive framed copies of their resolutions.

Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), who organized the event, said Harper and Johnson were among his “favorite people in the District of Columbia” because they “brought nothing but sunshine and a winning, winning record.”

He noted that Harper, 20, was the second-youngest player ever to win the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who also spoke, credited the Nationals with “electrifying the city.”

“Was anyone out there opening day, did everyone see him hit two home runs?” Evans asked, referring to Harper. “He’s on a track to get 95 home runs,” Evans joked. Last year, Harper hit 22 home runs.

Harper’s parents and girlfriend sat in the council chamber during the event, which brought dozens of council staffers and city officials out of their offices.

In brief remarks, Harper thanked the council and city for “bringing baseball back to the city.” Later, Harper reiterated to reporters that the team is appreciative of city taxpayers for helping to build the $700 million stadium

“I really appreciate everything this city does, for our organization and what not,” Harper said.

The Nationals delegation was then whisked out the building and the council returned to more routine matters. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) presented a ceremonial resolution to the Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ Girl Scouts troop.

The scouts’ resolution, however, did not come framed.

Tim Craig is The Post’s bureau chief in Pakistan. He has also covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and within the District of Columbia government.

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