CC Sabathia: On The Invite To The All-Star Game – MLB Gets It Right

CC Sabathia, 2019 All-Star Game Honoree (Photo: Robert Sabo)
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CC Sabathia is taking his final lap to cities across America. Fittingly, MLB gets it right by putting him center stage at the All-Star Game…

CC Sabathia doesn’t do much to call attention to himself. Still, over nineteen big league seasons, with stops in Cleveland and Milwaukee before coming to the Yankees a decade ago, Sabathia will end his career with 250+ wins and 3,000+ strikeouts.

This represents a feat accomplished by only two other pitchers who are not in the Baseball Hall Of Fame (Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling). Teammates and fans look forward to the Class of 2025 when Sabathia will be making the trip to Cooperstown…

Derek Jeter flees the Yankees for Miami (Photo: Washington Post)
Derek Jeter flees the Yankees for Miami (Photo: Washington Post)

Unlike his former teammate Derek Jeter, whose final sweep of America in his retirement season in 2014 never seemed to end, with accolades and gifts for a full season in every city he visited, Sabathia has chosen to fade away.

Instead, Sabathia will be leaving only his accomplishments on the field as a legacy – and just maybe that elusive 28th World Championship as a bookend to his first season with the Yankees in 2009.

On Tuesday in Cleveland, he’ll be remembered by most local fans in attendance as that fireballing lefty who put fear in the eyes of American League batters. Over his eight seasons in Cleveland, Sabathia won 60 percent of the games he pitched in (106-71), including a CY Young award in 2007, when he led the league in starts and innings pitched (243).

A brief stint with the Brewers in 2008 produced a magical ending to their season as CC Sabathia logged an 11-2 record with an unheard of (now) seven complete games. He finished the season for Milwaukee by hurling the team to Wild Card appearance, the end of which was recorded on this video:

 

Make No Mistake – This Is About CC Sabathia – The Person

You cannot say enough about CC Sabathia, the man. Known for his unending efforts to support charities in the New York/New Jersey area, Sabathia is a mainstay in the Yankees clubhouse. Widely recognized by his teammates for what he is – a leader and a warrior who never stands down when he takes the field.

Used sparingly by Aaron Boone this year, and perhaps with an eye towards October, Sabathia has compiled a respectable 5-4 record over thirteen starts that includes a 3:1 strikeout to walks ratio.

He’s a pitcher’s pitcher now, using confidence and guile to spot a 91 MPH fastball on the outside corner, mixed in with a newly developed change-up, still getting major league hitters out.

All of which explains why Major League Baseball (MLB) sees fit to honor CC Sabathia on Tuesday. On hearing of the announcement by MLB, Sabathia is clearly appreciative and touched.

“It’s amazing. Major League Baseball usually doesn’t do things like this. To be the guy they are honoring feels good. This is awesome.’’George King III, New York Post
CC Sabathia: A Family Portrait Photo Credit: Parent.com
CC Sabathia: A Family Portrait Photo Credit: Parent.com

Fittingly, CC’s entire family will be there in support, including his son, Carston (Little C). These days, it’s all about family for Sabathia. Scheduled already for knee replacement surgeries, he knows and looks forward to reclaiming some of those precious days he missed.

But in the meantime, things always seem to come back to CC Sabathia – and the Yankees know it. Despite the price on his health, he will always be there when his name is called, especially in October where his 10-7 lifetime mark speaks for itself.

The ole gray mare may not be what she used to be, but CC Sabathia, with guile and precision, may still be the Yankees best chance to start Game One of any playoff series. The Yankees will be comfortable with five or six effective innings from their warhorse – before turning the game over to their renowned bullpen.

A storybook ending? Perhaps. We’ll see.

But on behalf of all Yankees fans and fans of baseball, have a great time in Cleveland, CC Sabathia. No one deserves it more…

Update: 7:00 p.m. EST – CC Goes Seven Full. Case Closed.

CC Nails His Final Start Before Being Honored At Tuesday's All-Star Game (Source: ESPN)
CC Nails His Final Start Before Being Honored At Tuesday’s All-Star Game (Source: ESPN)

Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.

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