As a child, every young baseball player dreams about the chance to hit a home run to give his team a victory in the bottom of the ninth inning.
On Thursday against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bryce Harper got to live out that fantasy.
Facing Pirates reliever Bryan Morris with the game tied at seven, Harper did not need a jimmy-jack to give the Nationals the victory with Roger Bernadina already on base, but he got a hold of one anyway.
Harper lined Morris' 1-1 pitch over the left-center-field wall, giving the Nationals an important 9-7 victory. The 49-53 Nats are now eight games back of the Atlanta Braves, who lost on Thursday, in the NL East standings.
The walk-off jack was Harper's 14th home run during the 2013 season and 36th home run of his young MLB career.
Playing left field and leading off for the Nats, Harper had himself quite the ballgame. He already had two hits and scored two runs before coming to the plate for his fifth at-bat in the ninth inning, but the best was truly yet to come.
In addition to one of the most memorable hits of his young career, Harper also finished the game just a triple shy of the cycle. He was also hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the first inning.
The 20-year-old has accomplished more in parts of two seasons than many Major League Baseball players ever do. Harper has already made the two MLB All-Star Games and won the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year award, but he had not yet hit a walk-off home run.
He checked that accomplishment off his list in impressive fashion.