Bryce Harper: Roy Halladay Should Be Last Phillies Player to Wear No. 34

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

Bryce Harper adjust his cap as he introduced as a Philadelphia Phillies player during a news conference at the team's spring training baseball facility, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Clearwater, Fla. Harper and the Phillies agreed to a $330 million, 13-year contract, the largest deal in baseball history. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Newly signed Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper gave some insight Saturday regarding why he switched from jersey No. 34 to No. 3.

In a press conference at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, Harper said late National Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay should be the last player in Phillies history to wear No. 34:

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

"I wore No. 34. But I thought Roy Halladay should be the last to wear it." Bryce Harper has the utmost respect for the Hall of Famer. https://t.co/Q9pTXqALFU

Halladay spent four seasons with the Phillies from 2010 to 2013 after he played for the Toronto Blue Jays over the first 12 seasons of his MLB career.

With the Phillies, Halladay was twice named a National League All-Star, and he won the NL Cy Young Award in 2010 before finishing second in 2011. Also, in 2010, Halladay threw just the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history when he shut down the Cincinnati Reds in a National League Division Series.

Halladay finished his career with a 203-105 record, 3.38 ERA, eight All-Star nods and two Cy Young Awards.

He died in November 2017 at the age of 40 when a plane he was piloting crashed. Halladay was selected for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year.

During Saturday's press conference, Harper called Halladay "somebody that played the game the right way" and "a great person."

Harper wore No. 34 during his seven-year stint with the Washington Nationals, but No. 3 is also meaningful to him because both his brother and father wore it in high school, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

The Harper jersey figures to be a big seller in Philadelphia and across the world this season after he signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies this week.