The coolest and most crucial home runs Bryce Harper has ever hit
No. 1 — 5/14/12 vs. San Diego
Tim Stauffer became the answer to a trivia question when he allowed the first home run of Bryce Harper's career back in May 2012. The then-19-year-old phenom launched a 2-1 pitch to dead-center in Nats Park, and went around the bases in more of a home-run sprint than a home-run trot. He climbed to the top step of Washington's dugout for a curtain call following the milestone.
No. 7 — 6/12/12 at Toronto
Pictured here: The moments before Harper annihilated a Henderson Alvarez offering vs. the Blue Jays. Not pictured here: The Blackberry sign that the offering then struck after exploding off of Harper's bat. The big-fly was measured as a 438 foot shot, but probably would've traveled much further had its progress not been rudely interrupted. This was also the tater that gave birth to the famed, "That's a clown question, bro" line.
Postseason No. 1 — 10/12/12 vs. St. Louis
The first October round-tripper for Washington's corner stone was recorded in the 2012 NLDS vs. the Cardinals. Harper etched his name into the record books with this HR, too, becoming the second-youngest slugger ever to touch 'em all in the postseason. If only all 19-year-olds did as much at their respective workplaces as he did.
Nos. 23 & 24 — 4/1/13 vs. Miami
Harper's first Opening Day at the Major League level was a blast. Well, it was two blasts, actually: No. 34 registered a pair of homers in the first and fourth innings against Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco. In doing so, he became the youngest player ever to hit multiple jacks in Game 1/162, and provided all of the Nats' offense in a 2-0 victory.
No. 36 — 7/25/13 vs. Pittsburgh
This one, off of the Pirates' Bryan Morris, was the first walk-off shot of Harper's career. The game was tied 7-7, but after the Las Vegas native got a hold of a 1-1 pitch, Washington clinched a 9-7 win and Nats Park was sent into a state of hysteria. It was also a day where Harper got to show off a fairly impressive vertical when he leaped into the crowd of teammates waiting for him at home plate.
No. 39 — 8/6/13 vs. Atlanta
This was the longest knock of Harper's 2013 campaign (it had a distance of 439 feet, according to HitTrackerOnline) and the hardest one as well (it left the bat at 109.9 MPH). The pitcher who gave it up, Julio Teheran, later beaned Harper, which didn't make the outfielder too happy. This won't be the last time Atlanta's righty will appear on this list, by the way.
No. 56 — 4/6/14 vs. New York
2014 is the year in which Harper has hit the least amount of long balls so far as a major leaguer (13, but in just 100 games), yet this walk-off oppo-taco deserves some recognition. The lefty lofted a Carlos Torres pitch into the left field seats in the bottom of the 13th against New York, and sent the division rival Mets packing with a 5-3 loss.
Postseason No. 4 — 10/7/14 at San Francisco
You'd be hard pressed to find a more majestic moonshot than this towering fly ball from the 2014 NLDS. Harper's fourth career playoff home run splashed into McCovey Cove, and brought the Nats even with the host Giants. San Fran would go on to win the contest and eliminate Washington, but man, this was a play that won't be forgotten for a long time. Pressure is not a part of Harper's vocabulary.
Nos. 61, 62 & 63 — 5/6/13 vs. Miami
Poor Tom Koehler — the Marlins' pitcher is Harper's No. 1 home run victim (he's tied with Teheran; both have allowed five), and in May 2013, he was touched up for three straight bombs while visiting Nats Park. Perhaps it's time for Koehler to get out of the NL East and head west. Far west.
No. 66 — 5/9/15 vs. Atlanta
The third and — as of now — last walk-off from Bryce came at the expense of the Braves' Cody Martin. A 6-6 tie morphed into an 8-6 win, and that 8-6 win led to a chocolate syrup shower courtesy of Max Scherzer. It was one of the sweeter dingers the superstar has hit thus far.
No. 75 — 6/9/15 at New York
Before taking the field against the Yankees, Harper visited Yankee Stadium's famous Monument Park. Then, in the fourth inning, he cranked a 93 MPH pitch from Masahiro Tanaka to center field, where the ball landed just to the left of the Park he walked through an hour or so before. For someone who idolized Mickey Mantle, it ended up being a decent night at the yard.
No. 98 — 4/4/16 at Atlanta
After being greeted by a downpour of boos from Atlanta's fans, Harper belted one down the right field line off of — who else, of course? — Teheran in his first plate appearance in 2016. Following the matchup, he sported a "Make Baseball Fun Again" hat in the clubhouse, making headlines across the country. As long as he's around, at least, baseball will be fun.
No. 100 — 4/14/16 vs. Atlanta
A classic Harper moment. Was it a milestone? Yes, his 100th career home run. Was it a solo shot? Nope, that's too boring; it was a grand slam. Did it break a piece of the stadium? Duh; a panel on a right field scoreboard went out after the ball ricocheted off of it. And was a certain Braves starter involved? Yep, Teheran gave it up. Oh, and it was his mom's birthday. This one will be very tough to top.
No. 103 — 4/17/16 at Philadelphia
This was a funny one: In the top of the 10th against the Phillies, Harper smacked a line drive to right-center to break a 1-1 tie. And, upon further review, he also nearly broke some plumbing, too — the ball ended up in a bullpen bathroom. It was an upper-decker, just not in the way fans are used to seeing.