Former Phillies pitcher and 2008 World Series champion J.A. Happ recently announced his retirement from baseball after 15 seasons.
Happ spoke about his decision on a recent episode of The Heart Strong Podcast with Jessica Lindberg (via MLB Trade Rumors). He spent Opening Day this season at home with his family and “didn’t maybe feel what I needed to feel in order to think I wanted to keep doing this.”
“Even though I had put the work in to be ready if the right situation came, I felt like it was time to move on and be a dad and dive into the kids,” Happ said. “… It was emotional — something I didn’t expect. I called my agent that day, right after we turned that game on, and said, ’I think this is it.’ I told the people I feel like I needed to tell. I think I’m still processing it, but I do wake up feeling good about it, and I’m happy to start the process of being a full-time dad, for the time being, at the very least.”
Happ, 39, was drafted in the third round by the Phillies in 2004. He made his MLB debut with Philadelphia in 2007 and pitched for the team until he was traded to the Astros as part of the Roy Oswalt deal in 2010. Happ was also discussed as a trade chip in a possible Roy Halladay trade at the 2009 deadline.
His best season with the Phillies came in that 2009 season. In 166 innings, Happ posted a 12-4 record with a 2.93 ERA.
Happ was one of the last active players from the 2008 World Series team. Cole Hamels is reportedly “still hoping to pitch” following shoulder surgery in the offseason. Per Jon Morosi, Hamels expects to be ready by late summer.
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