Baseball and Softball is returning to the Olympics in 2028.
The decision has already sparked considerable excitement in the baseball world … Perhaps no one is more excited that Philadelphia Phillies all-world superstar Bryce Harper.
Harper is hoping that Major Leaguers are allowed to compete since representing Team USA in the Olympics has always been a dream of his.
“My wife actually had a hair appointment this morning and she texted me ‘Happy Birthday’ with that,” Harper stated.
“She said, ‘Hey, I guess one of your birthday wishes forever got [granted].’ I’m going to be old at that point, so I don’t know if they’re going to want me on the team, but it’s always a dream. I think it’s everyone’s dream to be in the Olympics, especially coming here.”
Yesterday, Bryce Harper said it would be a dream to play in the Olympics. 🇺🇸
This year he wanted to play in the WBC, but withdrew due to injury.
3 years ago, he shared how important it is to him to represent USA. Listen to him talk about it for 2 minutes straight.
Just listen. pic.twitter.com/VeeQh545cp
— Shawn Spradling (@Shawn_Spradling) October 17, 2023
The history of baseball in the Olympics was briefly recounted, highlighting its journey from an exhibition sport at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and a demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, to its official status from 1992 through 2008. T
he inclusion of professional players was permitted in 2000, but due to MLB’s refusal to release its players, minor leaguers were fielded in the U.S. rosters.
Following the 2008 games, the IOC omitted baseball from the program until its recent reinstatement in the 2020 Olympics hosted by Tokyo, held in 2021.
The challenges faced by the sport were exemplified by the participation of Nippon Professional Baseball players from Japan, contrasted with the U.S. roster primarily composed of minor leaguers during the Tokyo Olympics.
Harper emphasized his hope for a policy change within MLB to allow major league players to participate in the 2028 Olympics.
“You talk about growing the game and that’s the way you grow it to the highest peak, you have guys who are playing in the league take that break, just like in the NHL, and see what happens,” Harper said.
“I think it would be really cool and a lot of fun. I don’t know if they’ll ever go for it, but I would love to put ‘USA’ on my chest and represent it at the highest level. I know the WBC, and everyone loves that and it’s great for the game, but it’s not the Olympics.”
You can’t help but admire Harper’s passion and love for his country.
Do you want Major Leaguers to be allowed to compete in the Olympics??