Cubs outfielder Happ named all-star reserve
The Cubs haven't been very good this season, but they got some positive news Sunday that would have been unexpected at the start of the year.
Outfielder Ian Happ was selected a National League all-star reserve for the first time in his career. He admitted getting emotional when manager David Ross broke the news in the clubhouse before Sunday's 11-9 loss to the Dodgers.
"I told him, 'I'm going to be waterworks. You've got to call me in the office or something,'" Happ told reporters in Los Angeles after the game. "He told me, 'No, I'm doing it in front of the team if it happens.' All right, great.
"To be able to share that with those guys was really cool. Had some really special moments with Willson (Contreras) and Nico (Hoerner), guys I've played with a long time. (Ross) kind of went with the schedule for the all-star break, then went with that. It was great."
Happ finished Sunday's action ranked fourth in the NL in OPS, behind Mookie Betts, Juan Soto and former Cubs teammate Kyle Schwarber. Happ's batting average (.277) is a career-high and strikeout rate a career-low. All-star reserves are chosen by a vote of players.
"To be able to call yourself a big-league all-star is really, really cool. I'm humbled by it," he said. "Filling out those ballots for six years now and putting guys in that you've played against that you really think are the best players in baseball. That's really cool guys were doing that for me."
Happ almost certainly would have made the all-star team in 2020 had there been a game. He was the Cubs best position player during the shortened season, but then slumped in 2021. He recalled hitting a low point when the Cubs were in Los Angeles last June.
"Rossy called me into the office and basically said I wasn't going to play in the series much and would be coming off the bench because I was struggling so bad, and I cried in his office," Happ said. "And to have that go full circle ... baseball's a wild ride."
Happ will join catcher Willson Contreras, who was voted a starter for the third time in his career. Contreras will be joined by his younger brother William, a catcher for Atlanta, at the July 19 game in Los Angeles.
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