Ian Happ’s first career All-Star selection was going to be special no matter what.
But the Cubs outfielder being surrounded by many familiar faces in Los Angeles next week, including a throwback from his childhood, doesn’t hurt either.
“David Bednar and I played together when we were eight years old,” Happ said Wednesday of the Pirates’ All-Star closer. “Just little things like are going to be really cool.”
Bednar and Happ were both named All-Stars on Sunday, and the two Pittsburgh natives exchanged texts reflecting on their journey to this moment.
From being teammates all those years ago to teammates on one of baseball’s most prestigious stages.
“We reminisced about just how cool that is,” Happ said. “All those years of work you put in kind of come full circle like that.”
Happ will be surrounded by plenty of other former teammates. His family will be joining him in Los Angeles for the festivities.
On the field, Cubs teammate Willson Contreras was elected the National League’s starting catcher, and former Cub Joc Pederson a starting outfielder.
Kyle Schwarber was also named to the NL squad as a reserve on Sunday.
“It’ll be a lot of fun,” Happ said.