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CLIFTON HEIGHTS, Pa. (CBS) – Phillies fans are excited about the signing of superstar Bryce Harper, and Harper gear is flying off the shelves. The hype is building and the printing machines are working overtime.
They can’t seem to crank out enough Harper T-shirts with hundreds being made minute-by-minute.
Bryce Harper Mania is in full swing and fans are snatching up every piece of merchandise and paraphernalia they can find.
“We could probably generate 20,000 shirts a day out here,” Anthony Sulpizio, an American Marketing employee, said.
The T-shirt printing machines at American Marketing in Clifton Heights haven’t stopped since the former NL MVP was introduced at spring training in Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday as the new face of the Phillies’ franchise.
“I want to be on Broad Street on a freaking boat or whatever, a thing, a bus, whatever it is and have a trophy over my head,” Harper said Saturday.
Harper’s $330 million contract makes it the largest MLB contract ever. And that’s not the only history that he’s making. Harper’s No. 3 Phillies jersey is the No. 1 selling jersey of all time of any player in any sport during its first 24-hour launch, according to Fanatics.
“It’s nine different colors for the job, which means there is an individual screen on the press for each individual color,” Sulpizio said.
Making this colorful T-shirt bearing Harper’s image is a precise process playing out by the minute at American Marketing.
“From start to finish, it’s probably a minute-and-a-half to get around, there’s 16 stations, that’s a 14-color press. There’s 16 stations so you figure about a minute or two to get around, running about 700-800 an hour,” Sulpizio said.
It’s a non-stop process with die-hard Phillies fans at the helm.
“I’m excited. The lineup looks very good right now. You got an MVP guy like (Andrew) McCutchen that I think can really help lead Bryce Harper as he moves through his career. And you got young and exciting guys like Rhys Hoskins and Jean Segura and (J.T. Realmuto),” Christopher Mongiello said.
Thousands of shirts were printed Monday. In the meantime, the T-shirts will be available online on Amazon and at Foreman Mills stores throughout the Philadelphia area.