by Alex Poletti
Just one week after officially announcing the pregnancy of his wife Kayla, Bryce Harper dropped another bombshell by declaring his baby will be named Rocky Balboa Phanatic Cheesesteak as an homage to the city he now calls home.
“I love this city and the people in it,” Harper says. “What better way to honor that than name my kid after some Philadelphia icons.”
In his first week as a Phillie, Harper has embraced his new city. On Opening Day, he wore Phillie Phanatic-inspired cleats. He also agreed via twitter to play catch with “Always Sunny” star Rob McElhenney. Even the initial pregnancy announcement was made in a positively-Philly manner, under Ben Franklin Bridge
This may seem like a drastic turnaround to some, as Harper was reported to not be very keen on the City of Brotherly Love during the offseason. Reports say that he wanted to play on the West Coast, but a deal couldn’t be worked out.
“I don’t know what it is about this city that makes me love it,” Harper says while bathing in a tub of $330 million. “I just feel an intangible connection to this place.”
Bryce and Kayla tell The Second String that the name will stand regardless of the gender of the baby. Although Rocky Balboa is generally associated with males due to the portrayal of the character by Sylvester Stallone in the 1976 Oscar-winning flick, the Phanatic is officially listed as male on the Philadelphia Sex Offenders website and a cheesesteak is an inanimate object, the Harpers see no trouble naming a girl Rocky Balboa Phanatic Cheesesteak.
“What girl wouldn’t want to be named Rocky Balboa Phanatic Cheesesteak?” a supportive Kayla chimes in.
With the first name figured out and the last name settled, the only thing left to figure out is the middle name. Early reports indicate that the middle name will likely be an homage to Bryce’s father or mother, depending on the sex of the child. However, the Harpers aren’t ruling anything out.
“We definitely want the middle name to be someone or something we love,” Harper explains. “Ron or Sherilyn after my mom and dad would be great. Maybe Brittany after my sister. Right now, though, I’m leaning towards the one thing I love more than anything: No Trade Clause.”