(Blame Bryce Harper for all the eye black at the Little League World Series this year. Photo on left is via AP. Photo on right is via Reuters.)
If you've flipped on the Little League World Series on ESPN these past few weeks, you can't help but notice that Bryce Harper's war paint style eye black is now the look of choice for American kids in the tournament.
Harper was asked about it during his introductory news conference at Nationals Park yesterday:
"There's a lot of little kids that look up to you. To be able to start a trend like that, it's pretty great. I loved wearing the eye black. It was me. That's what made me Bryce. I didn't wear it for the first couple games, and I struggled. I put it on, and something just happened. It was electric."
(Bryce Harper, via MASNSports.com, 8/26/2010)
"That's the biggest thing, trying to teach the little guys how to go out there and just have fun, just go out there and play ball, It's baseball, and baseball, you've got to have fun or you're not going to play well, that's what I think."
(Bryce Harper, via AOL/Fanhouse, 8/26/2010)
Keep in mind that Harper is closer in age to those "little guys" and "little kids" who look up to him than he is to Ryan Zimmerman, who helped Harper into his #34 jersey at the news conference.
Bet you a dollar the Bryce Harper eye black craze goes the way of the friendship bracelet and Pokemon by next year's LLWS, since Mike Rizzo said after drafting Harper that the team wouldn't let him wear his signature war paint going forward. Sorry, kids!