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Phillies Star Rookie Pitcher J.A. Happ Wins MLB Players Choice Award, Designates Diabetes Research Institute as Charity of Choice

J.A. Happ and his sister, Heather Happ
#43 James Anthony (J.A., pronounced Jay) Happ

(October 27, 2009)  As Philadelphia Phillies’ rookie pitcher J.A. Happ heads to the World Series tomorrow, he’s also bringing with him the title of Players Choice National League Outstanding Rookie. Yesterday, when Happ accepted the honor from the Major League Baseball Players Association, which comes with a $20,000 prize to his charity of choice, he designated the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), a world leader in cure-focused diabetes research.  

“I have a sister who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her mid-twenties,” said Happ. “My family and I are hoping to see a cure in her lifetime, and I know that the Diabetes Research Institute is completely cure-focused.”  

This was the second of two consecutive awards that Happ received last week. He was first named the Sporting News 2009 National League Rookie of the Year. He is also in the running for the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award. One of the Phillies’ most valuable pitchers, the 6-foot-6 left-hander will play a vital role in the World Series.  

After growing up in Central Illinois and attending St. Bede Academy, he played for Northwestern University.  In the off-season, he resides in Chicago, near his family.  Along with his parents and two sisters, he plans to soon tour the Diabetes Research Institute after the Series ends – hopefully as a World Champion. 

Listen to J.A.'s interview on ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning show.

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