UC Bearcats rally to support #Cubs Draft pick Happ

The University of Cincinnati baseball team is raising awareness and funds for cancer research in memory of Cubs draft pick Ian Happ’s father, Keith, who passed away Oct. 27. Keith Happ was 58. Ian Happ played for the UC baseball team from 2012-15, and he was selected by the Cubs in the first round of the June 2015 First Year Player Draft.

On his Twitter account @ihapp_1, Happ wrote on Saturday: “Help me and @GoBearcatsBASE honor my dad’s memory #noshave #cancersucks” and provided a link to the website.

“Almost three weeks ago, my father lost his battle with brain cancer,” Ian Happ wrote. “Keith Happ was my role model and my hero. My dad was my biggest supporter, my batting practice thrower, fungo hitter, throwing partner, golf coach and much more. He was my mentor in every endeavor. I am grateful for the 21 years I spent with my father.

“I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support my family and I have received,” he wrote. “It has been truly humbling and unbelievable. The University of Cincinnati Baseball Program is honoring Keith’s memory with a No-Shave November Fundraiser for Cancer Prevention, Awareness and Research.”

The twitter post provided a link to https://www.no-shave.org/team/BearcatBaseball.

“Mr. Happ’s life is one that we would like to honor,” the website states. “We plan on spreading the word about cancer research and are participating in No Shave November as a team to raise awareness.”

The site encourages people to donate the money that a person would typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle. The goal was $5,000, and as of early Sunday, the site had already passed that and raised more than $7,000.

Happ, 21, batted .259 combined for short-season Eugene and Class A South Bend. Although he primarily played the outfield, the switch-hitter will likely play more second base next year.

— Carrie Muskat

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