It’s official, Bryce Harper has joined the 100 Home Run Club becoming the 8th youngest to reach 100 HRs in MLB history in GRAND style. Bryce had never had a Grand Slam as part of his career 100 HRs which made this 4 times as special plus he did this on him mom’s birthday, and the first MLB HR that Bryce has hit on April 14th. Harper’s manager Dusty Baker told him right after the Home Run, “You got a flair for the dramatic.” Bryce sure does, and he is making baseball fun for himself.
Here’s the list of the youngest to 100 home runs:
- Mel Ott: 22 years, 132 days
- Tony Conigliaro: 22 years, 197 days
- Eddie Mathews: 22 years, 292 days
- Alex Rodriguez: 23 years, 16 days
- Andruw Jones: 23 years, 62 days
- Miguel Cabrera: 23 years, 127 days
- Johnny Bench: 23 years, 161 days
- Bryce Harper: 23 year, 181 days
Bryce accomplished this feat with fewer at-bats to reach 100 HRs than Mel Ott, Andruw Jones, Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Bench. Bryce also pushed Ken Griffey Jr. out of the Top 10 list of youngest players to reach 100 home runs.
We spoke after the game with a VP of the Marucci Bat company who made the bat that Bryce hit his 100th HR with and possibly as poetic as the baseball universe aligns, Bryce hit this HR with the exact same CU7 Marucci model that Bryce smashed his 1st HR with. The VP of Sports Marketing for Marucci is Kyle Ourso and he has dealt with Bryce since he was swinging wood bats at the College of Southern Nevada so they have quite the history together. Even back then in 2010, Bryce was swinging the CU7 Marucci model that Ourso hooked him up with which was that classic all black bat with BRYCE HARPER etched in block letters and filled in with white paint and measuring 34/32.
“Bryce’s bat is his tool of his trade,” Ourso said. “He is great to work with, and Bryce really cares about his bats. I work with many players, and I have to say it’s a pleasure to work with him and the coolest thing is seeing the original model [that Bryce used in college] go full circle to where it all got started right back to today. I would say that Bryce is very smart and a student of the industry and could probably tell you every bat that is getting used by players down to the specifics.“
There used to be that time that Bryce would use teammates bats, and wouldn’t use bats with his own name etched on the barrel. You probably remember the story about the bat Bryce used in his Rookie season with the name “Deuce Noblitt” on the barrel, and sure enough it was Kyle Ourso at Marucci who arranged for that bat to be made.
Ourso also shared a story, “The Nats were playing the Tigers and Bryce got a bat from Miguel Cabrera that Bryce tried out in a game. He used to do that a lot early on. We know he uses other companies’ bats and just happy he hit number 100 with the Marucci.”
Bryce obviously has the bat and now he has the ball we confirmed with a spokesman with the Boras Corporation. Confirmed from another source that the young girl who caught the baseball in Section 140 traded the baseball for a bat and some keepsakes.
There she is. #100HarperHomers pic.twitter.com/eg9d6GTzSg
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 14, 2016
“It was awesome. It was my mom’s birthday, so I was able to hit her a homer,” Harper said of his smashed home run that broke part of the ribbon board displaying an ad for Good Humor ice cream at that moment of impact. Statcast™ measured the distance at 425 feet. “Today was definitely huge. I love these fans, I love this organization. It’s a thrill to do it in front of the home crowd. I was glad I was able to do it here.”
Exactly a week ago, Bryce got another special piece of history when Washington DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser gave Bryce the key to the city, and Bryce already has the key to the hearts of DC baseball fans.
On behalf of DC & the 680,000 people who call DC home, it's an honor to present the Key to the City to @Bharper3407! pic.twitter.com/yxgcVLJclH
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) April 7, 2016
Here is a compilation of the most memorable HRs of Bryce Harper’s career. They include 4 Opening Day HRs, 3 Walk-off HRs, 2 HRs off of Madison Bumgarner, 1 HR off of Clayton Kershaw and several off of former/current teammates. Of the 100 HRs, 11 were pure opposite field HRs which Bryce called Oppo Boppo HRs. Perhaps his favorite HRs were the walk-offs, game winners and those 4 post-season HRs.
Not sure if HR Derby HRs count, but the 2013 All Star HR Derby was special as Bryce’s pops Ron Harper was his pitcher.
Then there was the High School sophomore Bryce Harper hitting a 502 ft HR. Look who he was facing in this power exhibition and the person who handed him his award at the end. Yes, it was Ruthian.
And in the its a small world department, here is a picture that Don’s cousin posted to Facebook just before the HR with the comment that Bryce was at bat and bases were loaded.
Update April 14, 6:40pm EDT.
And it is also Bryce’s Mom’s birthday!
Update April 14, 7:20pm EDT.
And it is not possible to watch this too many times! Except, of course, for the commercial. Could do without that!
For anyone wondering if this pitch was grooved, they need a new brain. It was a 2-seamer that missed location and easily could have been a groundball to 2nd base. Bryce went down and got it. Look how many pitches were in the dead red zone that weren’t hit for home runs today.
Take a look back at all of Harper’s 100 career homers
Topps Trading cards just released the commemorative 100th Home Run baseball card in honor of Bryce’s accomplishment. If anyone in the Talk Nats community is interested in a card for their collection please let us know.