Bill Ladson

Four years in, Harper eyes first Gold Glove

Four years in, Harper eyes first Gold Glove

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper made his Major League debut four years ago Thursday against the Dodgers.

Harper recalls that day as a whirlwind. The moment he remembers most is Matt Kemp hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning.

"To enjoy it with the family was awesome. I did everything I could to enjoy it and take it in," Harper said. "After Kemp hit the home run off [Tom] Gorzelanny, Kemp was doing this little shimmy across the plate. That's the one thing I definitely remember."

Since that day, Harper has accomplished a lot in baseball, winning the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year and 2015 MVP awards, in addition a Silver Slugger Award last year. However, Harper has never won a Gold Glove.

He showed signs in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Phillies that he could one day be awarded for his defensive excellence in his career, as well, which is a goal of his.

In the fifth inning, Harper made a nice diving play near the right-field line off the bat of Tyler Goeddel. Harper credits his defensive prowess to Jayson Werth and former teammate Denard Span, as well as former first-base coach Tony Tarasco.

"If you are not getting hits, you don't want the other team to get hits either," Harper said. "I try to make every single play I can, throw out every single guy I can. That's one of the big ones I want. I want a Gold Glove. Hopefully at the end of the day, I can play well."

Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for since 2002.and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.