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Bryce Harper presented with keys to D.C. in pregame ceremony (pic)

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Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper not only was presented with his National League MVP and Silver Slugger awards during a pregame ceremony ahead of the Thursday’s home opener, he also received the keys to Washington D.C.

“I think looking back on it, it was definitely something that I’ll cherish,” Harper said before the ceremony where Mayor Muriel Bowser presented him the keys to the city, via The Washington Times. “It’s a new year and I’m excited to get back get going and looking forward to a new year.”

The last time a professional athlete received keys to D.C. was eight years ago, when Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin was honored in such a manner.

The ceremony at Nationals Park without a doubt demonstrates that as far as the local professional sports teams are concerned, Harper now rules the roost. It also marks the second time in a handful of months that Harper has been the recipient of keys a city, as he and fellow Las Vegas native Kris Bryant received keys to their hometown during a ceremony in December.

Harper of course has had an eventful few weeks above and beyond receiving the keys in D.C. The slugger generated headlines, not to mention some scorn, after railing against baseball’s unwritten rules and saying the game is “tired.”

He also made some waves earlier this week by wearing a hat after a game that read “Make Baseball Great Again,” a doubling-down on his “tired” talk, something that also caused him to be ripped by someone in baseball.

But as far as Thursday was concerned, it was a day loaded with pomp and circumstance that also featured Harper debuting a new walk-up song, “G.O.M.D.” by J. Cole, whose title alone exemplifies Harper’s sometimes cocksure and brash demeanor.

Harper, though, later let his bat do the talking after unveiling his new at-bat music, hitting an absolute blast for the 99th round-career home run and second round-tripper of the young season.

Unfortunately, the Nationals dropped the first game of the season, losing to Miami Marlins by a score of 6-4 in a game also marred by a somewhat lengthy rain delay. But the pregame ceremony? That was something.