Jackie Robinson faced constant scrutiny for things beyond his control. Being the first black Major League Baseball player, Robinson faced threats against his life while breaking down a racial barrier.
Bryce Harper has been facing scrutiny for things well within his control. The brash prospect, drafted first overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2010 draft, has a lot of growing up to do if he wants to avoid the constant attention.
Needless to say, Harper, who claimed he got bored playing Single-A ball and blew a kiss to a pitcher after hitting a home run, has brought attention to himself — unlike the great Jackie Robinson.
However, Nationals minor league coordinator Tony Tarasco sees some similarities between the two.
"You have to go back to Jackie Robinson to find anybody who goes through this much scrutiny. It wasn't like this for [Stephen] Strasburg. Wasn't like this for Alex Rodriguez," Tarasco stated in a Sports Illustrated feature.
"Now, Jackie Robinson had his life threatened. I'm not comparing Bryce to that. But as far as nonstop scrutiny? Absolutely. Day to day," said Tarasco.
It's a certainly a unique, mind-boggling and controversial comparison made by a member of the Nats organization. But while Harper usually brings scrutiny upon himself, things may be out of his control for the first time after these comments.