Jul 16, 2013, 2:54 AM EST
|USA Today Sports Images|
Updated at 12:55 a.m.
NEW YORK — During those long, scorching-hot afternoons in Las Vegas — before the baseball world had ever heard of his youngest son — Ron Harper would throw batting practice to young Bryce, unloading pitch after pitch after pitch to the boy who would someday become a major-league star.
So when they stepped into the spotlight Monday night at Citi Field, Bryce and Ron Harper paid no attention to the crowd of 43,588 watching in person or the millions more watching the Home Run Derby on national TV. As far as they were concerned, they were simply father and son, back in Vegas.
"Having my dad out there throwing to me, I was so calm and cool about it," Bryce Harper said. "I wasn't even thinking about the million people in the stands. All I was thinking was that my family's here, my brother's on the field and everybody that's here is family to me."
By night's end, Harper had put on a show worthy of the 20-year-old's first-ever Derby appearance, reaching the final round of the contest before losing out to Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Results aside, the experience was far more meaningful to the entire Harper family.Read more »
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