Bryce Harper hopes to play at 2028 Olympics: ‘Something you dream about’


LONDON — Philadelphia Phillies star Bryce Harper says it would be a dream to represent Team USA at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Ahead of a two-game series between the Phillies and New York Mets at the London Stadium, Harper, 31, told reporters his hopes of representing the United States and why the World Baseball Classic does not compare.

“Yes, absolutely and I’ve spoken to numerous people in MLB about it,” he said. “I would love to be part of that. We have the WBC but it’s not the same. People can say as much as they want but the Olympics is so worldwide. The WBC is great and brings a lot of people together, but the Olympics is something you dream about playing in. If I have a chance to put my nation’s colors on and represent as I did at 18 and 16 then I would love it.”

The 2028 Olympics are scheduled to run from July 14 to July 30, and baseball could potentially become one of the events to kick off the Games. Baseball will not be included in this summer’s Olympics in Paris. The sport has been part of six Olympic Games since debuting in 1992 in Barcelona. The U.S. won its only gold medal in 2000 in Sydney, bronze at Beijing in 2008 and silver in 2020 in Tokyo, but those teams did not include major leaguers due to the Olympics’ conflict with the Major League Baseball schedule.

The Athletic reported in February that some MLB owners were increasingly supportive of sending major leaguers to the 2028 Games, with the idea the tournament could be scheduled around the time MLB would normally be on its All-Star break.

Harper, the two-time MVP, has a history playing for Team USA. He was part of a star-studded under-18 national team that won the 2009 Pan Am junior world championships. The team featured five future first-round draft picks, including San Diego Padres star Manny Machado.

GO DEEPER

The $750 million teens: The untold story of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and the remarkable 2009 under-18 U.S. national team

Harper hopes the popularity of baseball will continue to increase overseas. This weekend’s series is the third year London Stadium has hosted the MLB London Series. The St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs shared last year’s two-game series. Harper, who joined the Phillies from the Washington Nationals in 2019, believes the sport needs to feature at the Olympics to appeal to a global audience.

“Major League Baseball has been around a long time and the game has changed a lot,” he said. “The game and the players have gotten younger and people have pulled from those players like the emotion which has helped. But you have to help both sides because you can’t lose one fan and the other, you have to pull everyone together. You can also learn from other sports too and grow the game in that aspect.

“My biggest thing is the Olympics, when you have sports in the Olympics, and understanding the sports, there is nothing more worldwide than that. Not having baseball in the Olympics is really tough. I love hockey and it’s one of my favorite sports to watch and seeing that in the Olympics is one of the coolest things ever. They take that three-week break and let those guys go and go play. That’s another big goal we should have in Major League Baseball.”

(Photo: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top