Harper says tro­phies aren’t for ev­ery­one

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS -

Bryce Harper has never been afraid to share his opin­ion. Not on his goals (“Where’s my ring?”), base­ball’s un­writ­ten rules (“Base­ball’s tired”) and now, of course, on the false idol of the self-in­volved, en­ti­tled, snowflake mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion — par­tic­i­pa­tion tro­phies. (Spoiler alert: He’s not a fan.)

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay you guys lost,’ but no, Johnny, no,” Harper said to a crowd of youth ballplay­ers Satur­day. “No par­tic­i­pa­tion tro­phies, okay? First place only.”

The 24-year-old su­per­star was speak­ing to a group from the North­west Wash­ing­ton (D.C.) Lit­tle League, but most of the cheers for Harper’s mes­sage seemed to be com­ing from the adults in at­ten­dance.

Harper is him­self a part of the so-called “par­tic­i­pa­tion-tro­phy gen­er­a­tion,” but like many mil­len­ni­als, he doesn’t seem to agree with the as­sess­ment that peo­ple of his gen­er­a­tion just want things handed to them.

The four-time all-star cer­tainly con­trib­uted his fair share to the Na­tion­als’ win­ning cul­ture in his first five sea­sons in the ma­jors, av­er­ag­ing 24 home runs, 67 RBI and a .279/.382/.501 slash line to lead Wash­ing­ton to three di­vi­sion ti­tles. And so far in 2017, he has re­gained his MVP form and has helped his team to a com­fort­able first-place lead in the di­vi­sion.

Harper was one of sev­eral Na­tion­als play­ers who vis­ited with youth play­ers around the D.C. area.

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