Bryce Harper got his first curtain call of 2013 from Washington Nationals fans — in the fourth inning on opening day.
That's what happens when you hit home runs in your first two at-bats, as the 20-year-old Nats phenom did on Monday. This made Harper the youngest player in history to go yard twice on opening day and only the 95th player since 1916. He's the first to hit two on opening day since J.P. Arencibia did it for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
[Fantasy Baseball 2013: There's still time to join a league today!]
Harper launched the second pitch he saw into right field for a laser home run off Ricky Nolasco of the Miami Marlins. Then in the fourth inning, with a full count against him, Harper hit a no-doubt blast into right again.
Amid high-fives and smiles in the Nats dugout, Harper gave the crowd what it wanted and came out for a curtain call. Again, in the fourth inning.
It's opening day, baseball fans, so go ahead and get carried away with projections about how great Harper is going to be in 2013.
I know we laugh at on-pace-to numbers from Opening Day. But I wouldn't be surprised if Bryce Harper hits 600 home runs this year.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 1, 2013
UPDATE: Here's more on Harper's big day from Bill Ladson at MLB.com:
"It was a great moment, great experience," Harper said. "The second one, I really didn't take full advantage, I guess you would say. It was over and done."
Harper joined Raul Mondesi and Carlton Fisk as the only defending Rookie of the Year Award winners to hit two home runs in the first game of the following season.
"The kid's locked in," Nolasco said about Harper. "He had a good spring. I didn't make the best pitches to him, and he didn't miss them. That's what good hitters do. Obviously, with the spring he's had, he's seeing the ball really well, and he's not missing those mistakes."
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