Article originally published on washingtonpost.com
Friday morning, on one of the turf fields at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, a young player hustled to first base, where an unknown first base coach held out his hand.
“Who are you?” the player asked, appropriately wary of an unfamiliar face.
“I’m Bryce,” the reigning National League Most Valuable Player said. The player seemed satisfied, and readied to take his lead.
Scenes like that repeated themselves again and again in Southeast D.C. on Friday, as Harper, Anthony Rendon, Joe Ross, Blake Treinen, Michael A. Taylor and Ben Revere took the field with a few teams of youngsters at the academy. Rendon replaced Ian Desmond as the main player liason to the academy, and will serve on its board.
“It’s tough, early in the morning when you have a game that night, but [the guys] know the cause behind it,” Rendon said. “They know how much of an impact they can make, especially with the platform that we all have. It was fun to get them out here.”