Hundreds of Phillies fans follow Bryce Harper to Washington for first Nationals game

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With a Twisted Tea in one hand and a Phillies sign in the other, Catherine Collins was ready to board a bus to Washington, D.C.

A caravan of buses full of Phillies fans left the South Philadelphia Sports Complex Tuesday, en route to watch Bryce Harper’s return to his old stomping grounds.

Collins was among 500 people who signed up for Joe DiBiaggio’s round-trip excursion, which included a game ticket, snacks, adult beverages and a pregame barbecue.

“I got the one that says ‘WE GOT HIM!’ ” Collins said, holding a red and white sign praising Harper joining the Phils.

“Look, we got him!” she enthused of Harper. “We’re gonna wave it right in their faces, too, right in the outfield — right behind him. … Couldn’t be better.”

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DiBiaggio, owner of Phans of Philly sports-centric road trips, booked the excursion tickets before Harper was even signed, which he admitted was a bit stressful leading up to the season.

“I was following the news every day, but as soon as he signed, I released the trip and we sold out about four buses in one night,” he recalled.

Eventually, eight buses left South Philly around noon Tuesday, carrying a load of rabid fans who haven’t been this excited about the start of a season since 2011.  

“It just feels special,” said fan Meshesh Osbourne. “I mean, teams in this day and age in this time, they don’t start out this hot.”

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