Heyward Forever Grateful For Cubs Fans' Support

"Cubs fans are the best -- the best," Jason Heyward says.

Laurence Holmes Show
July 15, 2019 - 3:55 pm

(670 The Score) Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward remembers well the trying times he had in 2016 after signing an eight-year, $184-million deal with the organization.

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He can still recall the pressure he felt, the perplexion surrounding his struggles at the plate and the frustration in not finding answers as he hit just .230 with career-low marks of seven homers and a .631 OPS. Heyward experienced some of the same feelings across 2017 and 2018 as well, not to the extent of that first underwhelming season but still dissatisfied in not performing at the level he hoped to reach.

Through it all, Heyward also remembers well something else: the overwhelming support he received from Cubs fans whom he interacted with.

"Unbelievable," Heyward said at the Cubs On Deck Luncheon Series of the support in his Chicago career. "Unbelievable. The first year I got here, of course we had a great team and we all had one goal in common, but it could have been way worse (for me). I don't know what you guys saw but what I felt, it could have been way worse than what it was. So just to be here today and still be feeling that same love, it's not new to me, so that's why I'm humbled over and over again. I appreciate this because you guys have been waiting to give me that. I've been working for it. You've been seeing that. It goes without saying, but I appreciate it. It feels natural. It feels super genuine.

"Cubs fans are the best -- like, the best. People can say, 'Oh, he's just saying that.' I don't have to say that. It really is the best to come out here and play in front of these people."

Heyward has been a consistent performer in his fourth season with the Cubs, and his 15 homers through the team's first 93 games represent his most in a season since he hit 27 in 2012. Heyward also carries an .833 OPS, which is tracking to be the second-best mark of his career.

"How you handle failure in this game goes a long ways," Heyward said. "That's life, for sure."