Bryce Harper thanked by young Camden baseball players with custom MVP cleats
If there’s something to celebrate, Harper will make sure his Under Armor cleats are ready. But when he won the National League MVP award last week, someone else dressed the cleats.
Shortly after being named MVP, Harper was surprised at his Las Vegas home with a pair of cleats customized by members of a Camden youth baseball team.
In his first season with the Phillies, Harper bought North Camden Pirates gear and cleats after $15,000 worth of gear – including fridges, coolers and a deep fryer – was stolen in June 2019 in their snack stand.
Without the snack stand, North Camden Little League feared they would not be able to raise funds to keep entry fees low. An anonymous donor pledged $15,000, Under Armor and Dick’s Sporting Goods donated $10,000, and Harper got through August with a shopping spree. The league kept rolling.
Last week, the children were able to say thank you.
“We really wanted to do something really special for Bryce to show him that we appreciate what he’s done for us,” 12-year-old Ryan Skinner said. “He’s such an amazing baseball player and he really deserved the MVP award.”
Eight players from the 2019 team helped design the cleats, which include the Phillie Phanatic and “MV3,” which was the campaign slogan for Harper’s MVP case. Under Armor and Dick’s each donated an additional $5,000 to the league to cover uniforms, equipment and more.
“It was such a great surprise and such a cool way to reconnect with the young athletes in North Camden,” said Harper. “This game can feature both struggles and triumphs, which they are all too familiar with. I will think of them every time I wear these cleats – they are a representation of their hard work.
“Being the kind of player these kids look up to really means the world to me. I mean it when I say I play for them. The fact that they thought of me during this moment is really special.
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