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Harper delivers promise to Phillies

PHILADELPHIA — John Middleton only imagined moments like this when Bryce Harper came to Philadelphia in 2019.

Big hits in big moments, Harper on a stage, hoisting a trophy, singing and dancing in the clubhouse, soaked in champagne.

Bringing Middleton’s bleeping trophy back.

“All the things we thought he was turned out to be true,” the Phillies’ managing partner said at the Citizens Bank Park, where Philly won the National League Championship Series.

“There have been no disappointments. Sometimes when you go through that process, you think you understand what you’re getting with somebody and then what you really get is a little bit different.”

“There’s nothing different with Bryce. He’s just committed to winning, and he’ll do whatever it takes. I think if they told him that he had to go play third base, he would play third base. He’ll hit wherever you want him in the lineup, he’ll play whatever position he needs to play. He just wants to win.”

Harper is one of baseball’s biggest stars, but he will be on baseball’s biggest stage for the first time in his life Friday night, when the Phillies play the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park.

He enters Game 1 having one of the best postseasons in Major League Baseball history.

Harper is batting .419 (18-for-43) with six doubles, five home runs, 11 RBIs and a 1.351 OPS in 11 games.

His is the eighth-highest OPS in postseason history. The names ahead of him are Manny Ramirez (2008 Dodgers), Barry Bonds (2002 Giants), Carlos Beltrán (2004 Astros), Rickey Henderson (1989 A’s), Nomar Garciaparra (1999 Red Sox), Paul Molitor (1993 Blue Jays) and Willie Stargell (1979 Pirates).

It’s funny how things work out.

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