Bryce Harper honors Roy Halladay with jersey number switch

CLEARWATER — There were a few brand new sights to take in at the Philadelphia Phillies spring training facility in Clearwater on Saturday afternoon.

Bryce Harper, arguably the face of baseball, put on a brand new hat for the first time, with a logo and colors he had never been seen in before. He spoke at length about family and putting down roots, far from the occasionally brash personality that had put him at odds with a certain generation of fan that bristled at remarks like “clown question, bro.”

When he pulled on the Phillies pinstripes for the first time, it was adorned with a brand new number in your program.

See Harper's first appearances with the Phillies: 

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Bryce Harper with the Philadelphia Phillies
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Bryce Harper with the Philadelphia Phillies
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 30: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies commits an error attempting to catch a fly ball in the eighth inning during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Citizens Bank Park on April 30, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Tigers won 3-1. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 06: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts against the Minnesota Twins at Citizens Bank Park on April 6, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Twins defeated the Phillies 6-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 10: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies catches a fly ball at the wall in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on April 10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches a video tribute in honor of him from the dugout before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Philadelphia Phillies' Rhys Hoskins (17) celebrates his home run with Maikel Franco, right, as Bryce Harper, left, watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 7-3. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies stretches in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies leads off first in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated after scoring in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies works out at Spectrum Field on March 03, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 2: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies speaks during the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 2: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies puts on his new jersey during the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 2: The Philly Phanatic welcomes Bryce Harper to the press conference introducing Harper as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday March 2, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies works out at Spectrum Field on March 03, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies works out at Spectrum Field on March 03, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies works out at Spectrum Field on March 03, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies works out at Spectrum Field on March 03, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 3: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies steps on to the field for his first workout as a member of the Phillies on Sunday March 3, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 3: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies steps on to the field for his first workout as a member of the Phillies on Sunday March 3, 2019 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
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Harper will wear No. 3 with the Phillies, after having 34 across his back for the entirety of his tenure with the Washington Nationals. His reason for switching digits was to pay homage to a Hall of Famer, who Harper said he believed should be the last to wear the number for the organization.

“I thought Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear it. He’s somebody in this game that’s greater than a lot of guys who ever played it. A Hall of Famer. Somebody who played the game the right way, was a great person, and was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met…. For me, it’s Roy Halladay.”

Halladay wore 34 for his four seasons with the Phillies, and while Harper’s statement won’t technically be accurate (5 players have worn 34 for the Phillies since Halladay retired in 2012), it is a nice sentiment nonetheless.

Halladay was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the most recent class of inductees, and the gesture from Harper as he joins the franchise is likely a prelude to the number being permanently retired by the team.

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