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Nick Wass, Associated Press
Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper gestures toward the stands.

Since his marriage to Kayla Varner in December, Bryce Harper has posted many photos sharing his love for his wife on social media. But ESPN's SportsCenter aired a video of Harper honoring the original leading lady in his life: his mom.

"You showed me how to care, be humble, treat others with respect and to always remember who I am,” Harper reads from a letter he has written to his mom in the video. “Every morning before school, my lunch was waiting with the symbols for I love you on the bag, and when we would all get home, you always made sure the smell of your cooking filled the house.”

The video, released in advance of this weekend’s Mother’s Day, shows Harper reading the letter aloud in front of cameras. To Harper’s surprise at the end of the video, his mother, Sheri Harper, reveals that she has been sitting in the next room listening to Harper’s recording the whole time.

Bryce Harper is known for flashing the “I love you” sign as he crosses home plate. This gesture was first noted by media and fans in 2012. Some fans wondered if Harper was sending a message to them but it was suspected that he was directing the sign to his mom. Harper confirms this in the video by sharing the origin of he and his mom’s connection through the sign.

“I have to share my favorite memory of you and one that I’ve carried throughout life and into my career. One day you dropped me off at Aunt Theresa’s and for some reason I jumped out of the car very quickly,” Harper said. “As I hurried away, I forgot to give you my regular kiss on the cheek. You yelled, ‘Bryce! Bryce!’ As I spun around, you flashed the universal sign for I Love You. I will never forget that day. So of course, every time I cross home plate after a home run, I make sure you know I love you, too. Sorry Nationals fans, that’s not for you.”

Watch the video here.