The Phillie Phanatic sure knows how to return a favor.
After Bryce Harper hit the field in cleats with the Phanatic’s likeness on Thursday, the latter stepped out in shoes with Harper’s photo on Saturday.
The mascot’s white and green lace-up sneakers featured a printed photo of the outfielder, who made his Phillies’ debut on Thursday against the Atlanta Braves. In the image, adorned on the lovable character’s shoe, Harper is shown with eyeblack, a full beard and a focused expression on his face.
It seemed that Harper appreciated the gesture, as he hit a 465-foot homer to help propel the Phillies over the Atlanta Braves. The team is now 2-0 on the season, with the rubber game against the Braves set for 6 p.m. tonight.
As for Harper’s bold cleats, the style would have been against MLB regulations last season. Previously, players were allowed only to wear shoes with exteriors at least 51 percent the color designated by their clubs. Now players have much more flexibility when it comes to their footwear — so Harper’s neon green Phanatic cleats were OK with the league as long as the Phillies signed off on them.
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The Las Vegas native signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia during the off-season, leaving behind the Washington Nationals. While the right fielder switched teams, his long-term deal with Under Armour continues. The themed cleats were manufactured by the Baltimore-based brand.
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