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Bryce Harper Receives Invitation to Marine Corps Ball

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout after grounding out in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on October 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    "Although I grew up in the Northern Virginia DC area, I am currently an active duty Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA. Even from across the country enjoyed watching the Nats play, I even got to see you guys when you played the Dodgers. You've been a breath of fresh air to the Nationals this season. Congratulations on your recent Divisional Championship! Bryce Harper, on November 9th will you go with me to the Marine Corps ball??"

    That was the plea that Stephanie Butler posted on Harper's official Facebook fan page late Tuesday morning.  

    "I was talking about it with my best friend," Butler said in a phone interview Thursday. "It was kinda like, 'I have nothing to lose. The worst case scenario, he never sees it.' I had nothing to lose, so why not try?"

    You never know until you try, and since Tuesday, Butler's invitation has received more than 140 likes, and Harper's fan page has blown up with posts asking him to consider the offer.

    Much like the fly balls that Harper has consistently snagged in the outfield since joining the Nationals in late April, Butler is quite the catch. The 21-year-old native of Vienna, Va., is a graduate of James Madison High School and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps three years ago, where she currently holds the rank of lance corporal.

    Harper is certainly not the first celebrity who has been asked to attend the prestigious Marine Corps Ball, the branch's annual birthday celebration. Last year alone, Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis and Kristin Cavallari all accepted their respective invitations.

    Butler, who is stationed at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, would love if Harper could attend her unit's ball Nov. 9 at Pala Casino.  

    "To me, this whole season, he brought so much to the team," Butler said when asked why Harper caught her eye. "Maybe because he's young and it's the energy of youth, but he's been a complete breath of fresh air to the team. He definitely stood out in my mind."

    Butler and Harper might be on opposite sides of the country, but according to Butler, they both are responsible for "doing things for somebody else," which, like the Marine Corps Ball, brings everybody together. 

    "It's a huge deal to all [Marines] because it celebrates the Marine Corps' birthday," she continued. "It's the one time of year where you get everybody together, regardless of rank. It really brings everybody together.

    "I think it would be really cool of him," she continued. "We do so much. We really, really do. The military is really underappreciated. Day in and day out, we give everything we have. It'd be really cool of him to give back."

    Think about it? Hardly a clown question, bro.


    Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.