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Nationals introduce Bruce Harper

John E De Freitas. | 8/25/2010, 9:29 a.m.
Bruce Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, will wear uniform No. 34 when he starts his professional baseball career in the instructional league this fall. Photo by John E De Freitas

The Washington Nationals introduced outfielder Bryce Harper to the local media at Nationals Park on Thursday evening. Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, will wear uniform No. 34 when he starts his professional baseball career in the instructional league this fall.

"I love the game of baseball," Harper said. "I love being out on the field. I just love playing. I live for baseball. Anywhere I could play, anywhere I could help the team, I'm excited to go out there and start playing."

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman gave Harper his new jersey during the news conference. Before the news conference, Harper took six rounds of batting practice.


Harper and the Nationals agreed to a five-year contract worth $9.9 million, which includes a $6.25 million signing bonus. The deal is a record for a position player signed out of the Draft. The previous record was held by Mark Teixeira, who received a $9.5 million, four-year Major League deal in 2001.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman gave Harper his new jersey during the news conference Photo by John E De Freitas