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Youth baseball players try Bryce Harper virtual reality experience, get surprised by Bryce Harper

Photo Credit: Gemma Kaneko and Gatorade

Let's just be honest with each other for a moment -- we all want to grow up to be Bryce Harper. Sadly, most of us are all already grown up and/or not technologically savvy enough to build a time machine and get our childhood selves onto a Las Vegas youth team. But that's OK, because we live in the future and our dreams of becoming Bryce are about to come true.

Thanks to a new virtual reality experience produced by Gatorade, all you have to do is put on a pair of goggles and a headset and you can find out what it's like to stand in Harper's shoes for an at-bat. In August, a D.C.-area RBI team, the Prince George County Nationals, were lucky enough to test it out. Oh, heads up -- there's a little surprise at the end of this video:

Not only did they get to be Bryce, they got to meet him right after. 




This is the closest any of us will get to Polyjuice Potion in real life. Yes, I said, "any of us," because you too can watch the VR experience here:

I played through it and I can tell you with complete certainty that it is the coolest I will ever feel. I wear glasses, but the Gatorade team adjusted the goggles so that I very briefly had 20/20 vision. I am 5-foot-2, but the experience was filmed using 14 camera rigs all set at Harper's eye level, so I got to be 6-foot-3 for just a little while. 

As I stood at the plate, I heard real gameday audio recorded from a live crowd at Nationals Park. I also heard Harper's inner monologue warning me not to "swing at trash," as each pitch approached or getting irritated that offering just caught the corner.

But the part that really made me feel like baseball superhero was pretending I had Harper's arms. I know that sounds a little strange, but when you play through the experience, you can see a pair of arms holding a bat. As Harper's most recent magazine cover taught us, he's totally jacked. But in this VR experience, his arms look like they belong to a version of Spider-Man who has neon running through his veins instead of blood. 

So, I already know that it's utterly amazing to be Harper for a few minutes. But whose virtual reality experience would Harper like to play? (Here's a hint: Cy Young Award-winner Bryce Harper?)

How did Gatorade create this hands-on experience? Take a look behind the scenes here: