(670 The Score) As of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ hadn’t yet been traded, but he understood well that the possibility loomed ahead of the 5 p.m. deadline.
It’s with that as context that Happ’s voice crack and he expressed emotion during an interview on the Bernstein & Holmes Show on Tuesday during which he thanked Cubs fans for sticking by his side and giving him support amid the ups and downs of his big league career, which began in 2017 in Chicago.
“I was trying to soak it all in,” Happ said in reflecting on his potential last game at Wrigley Field in a Cubs uniform, which came last Tuesday. “I wanted to thank the people everywhere and in the bleachers but specifically the people in left field that have kind of been there me from the second half of last year all the way through this year. Obviously, they’ve been there longer than that, but the support after the deadline last year, being there every single day and just being positive through my struggles and my successes and the team’s struggles and always being there and not leaving and having good attitudes, I don’t know if I can express how much that actually means to the players and how important that is. And so I wanted to express my gratitude to them. And one of the coolest things you get to do as an outfielder at Wrigley is you get to run out there before the first pitch and tip your hat to the fans and then you get to do the same thing after a win. Those are two of the most special moments of a game. It was something right when I came up, (Jason Heyward) kind of showed me the way on that. So being able to really feel like they’re part of the game – because they are – I don’t know how rare that is, but it feels like it’s pretty rare for that to be such an important piece of playing there every day.”
The Dodgers and Blue Jays are among the teams that have expressed interest in Happ, according to reports. Happ, 27, is hitting .279 with nine homers, 46 RBIs and a .796 OPS in 99 games this season, one in which he was named an All-Star for the first time.
Happ spoke Tuesday midday as if he expected to be traded, though he also noted he didn't have any inside information on that front. He’s under team control through 2023.
“I absolutely and totally love the city of Chicago and getting to make friends and meet people here and have relationships,” Happ said. “I’ve really fallen in love with the city, and I obviously met my fiancée there and she’s from Chicago and has roots there. And so that’s a whole other part of what makes things like this so difficult. I can’t thank the city enough for what it’s meant to me and being able to kind of grow up in my adult life there.”