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Hat’s off to him: Bryce Harper slides head-first without a helmet

David Brown
Big League Stew

Somebody associated with the Harrisburg Senators needs to get young Bryce Harper a helmet that fits. Or a chin strap.

During a mad dash around the bases in the ninth inning Thursday night, the crown jewel of the Washington Nationals farm system lost his helmet rounding second base, but it didn't stop him moments later from sliding head-first into home for the go-ahead run.

He also broke his belt on the slide. Dang it, the Lerner Family sent Harper to a summer camp with busted equipment!

Harper's was the winning run for the Senators, Washington's Class AA affiliate, who beat the Reading Phillies 2-1.

(Big BLS hat tips to Nats Enquirer for the head's up, and to WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pa., for the video.)

Now, watch him go:

Ah, the exuberance of youth!

They could have given three errors on that play, it looked like. Regardless, it showed nice alertness and hustle by Harper, who has struggled — .242/.305/.337 with one homer in 95 at-bats — since being promoted from Class A on July 4.

Check out a home movie of the at-bat from a different angle that shows Harper losing his helmet, Willie Mays style. Did he knock it off his own head for effect, or is that too cynical?

(Note: If you rewind the YouTube video to earlier in the at-bat, you also can hear a voice call Harper a bad name that starts with a "d" and ends in a "bag." Not nice!)

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