Bryce Harper made some serious headlines during his two-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In his first game he crushed two home runs, and walked things off with a two-run double in the second contest. While the major league club is elated to have him back, his Triple-A teammates are sad to see him leave, given the perks he sent their way.
It’s been customary for rehabbing major leaguers to do something nice for their minor league teammates while they’re down there. Some players will be a suit for each teammate, others will pay to have entire meals catered. Given the barebones working conditions minor leaguers are accustomed to, this means a lot.
A minor league player’s experience varies depending on what MLB organization and level they’re at, but oftentimes they’re subjected to hours-long bus rides, dingy clubhouses and dollar store meals. Peanut butter and jelly and McDonald’s are frequently found in minor league clubhouses. Clearly, it’s a cause for celebration when a big leaguer treats the whole team to a good meal.
Given Bryce Harper’s superstar status and $330 million contract, it was expected he would do something pretty nice for the Iron Pigs. As it turns out, the reigning MVP went above and beyond. For the first night he was there, Harper picked up the check on a Mission BBQ catered dinner for both the Iron Pigs and their opponents, the Gwinnett Stripers. The next night, Harper sprang for a PRIME Steak House spread.
Not to be outdone, fellow Phillie Brandon Marsh embarked upon his own rehab assignment the following two days. The 24-year-old may not have the same mega deal as Harper, but Marsh still made sure to treat his Triple-A teammates right. The center fielder treated the Iron Pigs to a pregame Chick-fil-A spread prior to Friday night’s contest.
The Phillies have been on a terrific run this season, and seem to be clicking on all cylinders. We all get caught up in the on-field action, but it’s nice to know that they’re a pretty good group of guys off the field, too.