Love Letters From Pronk: Ian Happ
Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, sometimes touching, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick, Cubs slugger and multi-positional flex man Ian Happ.
You are a player who has grown on me during your time in Chicago. At first, I wasn't the biggest fan of your long swing. But as you've improved and I've gotten to learn more about you, I have become a complete fan of Ian Edward Happ.
My favorite Happ highlight was that first pitch of the season home run against the Marlins. Particularly for the reaction announcers had when they were talking about how the Marlins had dismantled and then your perfectly timed home run just twisted the knife in a way so ironic a Hollywood writer couldn't have come up with it. I'm really bummed about the delay of the 2020 season, particularly because of how ripe for performance you looked. Last year might have been a struggle with the AAA fine tuning, but it looked like it paid off when you were smashing pitches in September. Between the openings in CF and 2B, I figured you had the opportunity to get some consistent at bats and put it all together. Soon, I hope.
I really respect you for how you handled things when you lost your father. I'm glad he got to see you hit at Wrigley. I'm really sorry that you lost him at such a young age. I really applaud you for working through that and trying to make the big leagues at the same time. It's huge mountain to climb, and even if you never see another inning of action at the big league level (God forbid), the fact that you made it while dealing with the baggage you dealt with is a huge life achievement.
It's really cool how you turned his loss into a charitable cause, through the "Through My Eyes" project and the Happ Family Fund. Mental health is often overlooked, so it's really great that you can use your reputation and stature as a big league to bring awareness. The pictures that you collaborated on are a unique way to raise funds. It's really cool that you are doing this!
I was a growing Ian Happ fan, and then I stumbled upon The Compound. It's a bit silly, I'll admit, but It's also really interesting and informational. Us fans really like it when players become accessible and reveal their average Joe-isms, as you, Hoerner, Mekkes, and Short have done. I really enjoy the perspective you guys have as young 20-somethings with different backgrounds just trying to stick in the bigs. I vote that you guys keep it up, even once baseball resumes. It's a lot more entertaining than anything on ESPN.
I do have a couple of fan questions I'd like to ask for the podcast:
• When you guys cook, what kinds of food are you making? I'm curious if it's thinks like pre-boxed pasta, or if you guys are able to put together some more elaborate meals.
• How do you cope with the mentality that you could go back and forth to and from the minors at any given time? Given that you guys are all young, relatively un-established, and have options; it could happen at any time depending on the day to day needs of the team.
• Could you guys play legitimate baseball games in empty stadiums as well as if you in front of a packed house? if COVID forces us to choose between no season or empty stadium games.
• What's your favorite drink?
• Who was your favorite baseball player when you were growing up?
Thank you for being awesome Ian. I look forward to seeing your improvement this year, whenever it does happen.