Bryce Harper and Phillies near World Series after win over Padres

[Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Oct. 22, 2022, the night before Bryce Harper hit his fifth home run of the playoffs on Sunday to help send Philadelphia to its first World Series since 2009.]

PHILADELPHIA—Bryce Harper has spent most of his major league career trying to play Bryce Harper, as John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich. As a rare baseball rookie who arrived as a celebrity, it had to live up to expectations and the image. He spent his first six years clocking up free will and pitting himself against Mike Trout. And when he signed with the Philliesa team with six consecutive losing seasons, he had to be big enough to sell tickets and bring a franchise back to respectability.

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