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Ledecky honored at Nationals Park

Olympic swimming and noted Nats fan inducted into D.C. Sports Hall of Fame
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Katie Ledecky figured Bryce Harper might face a few games of suspension after his brawl with Hunter Strickland on May 29 in San Francisco. So, Ledecky invited Harper via Twitter to hang out at Stanford University's pool, only about 40 minutes away.

Instead, Harper spent time with his family in his hometown, Las Vegas.

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WASHINGTON -- Katie Ledecky figured Bryce Harper might face a few games of suspension after his brawl with Hunter Strickland on May 29 in San Francisco. So, Ledecky invited Harper via Twitter to hang out at Stanford University's pool, only about 40 minutes away.

Instead, Harper spent time with his family in his hometown, Las Vegas.

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"Bryce missed his chance, obviously," joked Ledecky's brother, Michael, who represented his sister on Sunday at Nationals Park, as she was inducted into the Washington, D.C. Sports Hall of Fame. "But I think he had some fun with family in Las Vegas, so I'll give him a pass this time. That was funny."

Katie Ledecky is training at Stanford for the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, so she couldn't attend the ceremony. But Michael discussed his sister's relationship with Harper and her childhood-favorite Nationals.

A Bethesda, Md., native, Katie Ledecky often attended Nationals games at RFK Stadium after the franchise moved to Washington in 2005.

After winning five medals in the 2016 Summer Olympics, Ledecky threw out the first pitch at Nationals Park before a game last August. The Nationals were planning to give her a bat with players' autographs, but Michael said he wasn't sure she could accept the gift as an amateur. Katie suggested wearing her medals and hanging them on a bat while she tossed the opening pitch. Instead, Harper volunteered to wear her medals around his neck, beginning a friendship between two of the world's most talented athletes.

Tweet from @kyle_melnick: Katie Ledecky's brother, Michael, on Katie's relationship with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. pic.twitter.com/WStRjD94GH

Despite competing in international tournaments as the most dominant female swimmer at 20 years old, Katie savors occasions like those with Harper.

"Any moment that involves the community embracing her and embracing what she's done, that really means a lot to her," Michael Ledecky said. "When that kind of encompasses a team sport like the Nationals, which means so much to the D.C. community, she really appreciates that. She really takes that with her when she's going to all these international swim meets [while] representing Team USA."

Katie Ledecky has continued to support the Nationals even when she's traveling across the country. She tweeted a meme of Anthony Rendon's face in an Olympic swimming pool last week to support Rendon's bid in the NL Final Vote.

"Couldn't get him over the hump," Michael Ledecky said, "but we'll keep pushing for him, and he's definitely an All-Star-caliber player."

After the World Championships, Ledecky will have some time off in August. Her brother expects she'll make attending another Nationals game a priority.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper