Harper powers Phillies to World Series

Bryce Harper's game-winning, two-run homer in the eighth inning of game five of the NLCS lifted Philly into the World Series and left even Harper momentarily bewildered.



October 25, 2022 - 2:22 PM

Bryce Harper holding up the NLCS Most Valuable Player trophy on Sunday night.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The billionaire owner of the Philadelphia Phillies pounded his fists on Bryce Harper’s chest and joked the Phillies slugger was almost underpaid at $330 million over the life of his contract.

It was absurd to put a price tag on the moment for John Middleton as he pulled in Harper for a hug while the National League championship celebration swirled around them on the field. This was a moment the duo visualized when Middleton took a jet in February 2019 to Las Vegas to court Harper in meetings and dinners that would eventually yield a 13-year, $330-million deal, the biggest in baseball history for a free agent.

So when Harper and Middleton finally embraced — once the Phillies beat San Diego 4-3 on Sunday in Game 5 of the NLCS and reached their first World Series since 2009 — yeah, the feelings were a bit more personal.

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