Top pick Happ honors dad for cancer research

Top pick Happ honors dad for cancer research

The University of Cincinnati baseball team is raising awareness and funds for cancer research in memory of the father of Cubs Draft pick Ian Happ. Keith Happ passed away from cancer on Oct. 27 at age 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 2015 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," 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 the website of the fundraiser.

"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 Class A 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.

"He's a confident kid," said Jason McLeod, the Cubs' director of scouting and player development on Thursday. "He reminds me a little of Jed Lowrie with a little more power."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.