Young Phillies fan gifted helmet after irate Bryce Harper flips on umpire
Bryce Harper flipped out at the umpire at third base and then threw his maroon Phillies helmet over the protective mesh and into the stands.
This was no ordinary souvenir like a foul ball. Hayden Dorfman, a 10-year-old Phillies fan from Voorhees, New Jersey, had a signed memento to take home.
Dorfman landed the lucky helmet after a few adults held him during a scrum in the aisle at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night. Cooler heads prevailed and – at the insistence of the boy’s father, Aaron – the helmet ended up with the beaming fifth grader.
The Dorfmans are partial season ticket holders and attend about six Phillies games a year in just a few rows behind the home dugout in Section 117.
The fireworks started when Harper was ejected by third base umpire Ángel Hernández on a checked strike three. Harper seemingly held his swing to a full count against Pirates starter Luis L. Ortiz and began to remove his protective gear when Hernández called for the slugger.
Harper removed his batting helmet and approached Hernández as he walked along the baseline. Harper pointed his finger in Hernández’s face and had to be separated by manager Rob Thomson.
Harper threw his helmet into the stands to loud applause from the Phillies fans before heading into the dugout.
Let Hayden take over from here.
“So! He knocked it over and there’s a lot of dads who like to dive for it,” he said. “I knew I wasn’t going to get it. But I went in to see what would happen. It looked like he had a pretty good handle on it, so I went in. Then (my father) started singing, “Give it to the child!” And then that worked.
“And then, like a little while later, we went to the bathroom and got a text, come back because Bryce Harper wants to sign it. I ran back and gave the helmet to five security people.”
The Phillies staff retrieved the helmet from the youngest Dorfman and later returned it, signed by Harper with No. 3 and Philly Philly! inscription. Harper also signed the helmet, Luke 1:37, a Bible verse that says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Not on this evening.
“After I walked away, I wasn’t that upset anymore,” Harper said after the Phillies lost 3-2. “I took it all out a bit. I just threw my helmet on the stands because I didn’t need it anymore. I got the kid and ended up signing it for him and he was super happy. It was good.”
Aaron Dorfman said three men “bigger than me” grabbed the helmet after Harper threw it into the stands. So he decided to calm the situation by coming up with the solution that a child should have Harper’s helmet.
“Ten seconds later it was on his head,” Dorfman said.
With the Phillies hosting playoff games next week, Harper joked that he wasn’t worried about getting a new helmet.
“I can get new ones,” the $330 million slugger joked.