Drafted by the then California Angels in the 4th Round of the draft out of San Pedro High School Brian Harper hit so well that just two years after being drafted he was called up to the Angels and debuted in September of 1979 at the age of 19. After a couple more years of hitting well in the minors he was recalled again in 81. In December he was sent to the Pirates for shortstop Tim Foli and Harper began his long sojourn around the majors that would last until 1988. In Pittsburgh he served as a pinch-hitter and reserve outfielder. In 85 he was sent to St. Louis, 86, Detroit, 87 Oakland and in 1988, after being released by the A's signed with Minnesota. Up to this point he was a career .233 hitter with 11 homers and 50 RBI's over 205 games and 390 AB's. His career WAR was a meager -0.9. At this point he was less than a journeyman who had bounced around the majors and at the age of 28 was probably at his last stop.
In 1988 he set career highs in games and at-bats along with avg. of .295 and tied his best RBI total of 20. Harper who had mostly played as a corner outfielder was now making more appearances behind the plate and in 1989 would become the Twins' regular catcher. The next six season saw Harper at his peak and win a World Series ring in 1991 hitting .381 in the series against Atlanta with an RBI and 2 runs scored. 92 and 93 continued on with his excellent seasons until 94 when injuries and the strike limited his playing time. The injuries carried over when he signed with Oakland in 95 where he only appeared in 2 games before ending his career.