It was always known that this was the final MLB season for Yankees LHP CC Sabathia, but he made it official on Monday morning.
As the Yankees lost Game 6 of the ALCS to the Astros, ending their season, Sabathia is now walking away from the game he has played professionally for the last 19 years. He penned a post on Twitter to say farewell:
Thank you, Baseball. pic.twitter.com/o4lGeQi3uJ- CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) October 21, 2019
"It all started in Vallejo, CA in my grandma's backyard throwing grapefruits at a folding chair," Sabathia wrote. "I could have never imagined how much this game has meant to me since. Through the ups and downs, baseball has always been my home. From Cleveland, to Milwaukee, New York, and everywhere in between, I'm so thankful to have experienced this journey with every teammate past and present. All I ever wanted was to be a great teammate and win. I'm so proud of this year's team, we fought til the end. Love you guys! I'm going to miss going out there on the mound and competing, but it's time to say farewell. Thank you, Baseball."
Sabathia was the 20th overall pick by the Indians back in 1998 out of Vallejo High School, and he certainly lived up to that high selection. He became a six-time All-Star, collecting his first three with the Indians and the last three with the Yankees.
In his prime, Sabathia was one of the game's most dominant pitchers, with a plus-plus fastball and that sweeping curveball that left hitters flailing to make contact. He joined the Yankees at the perfect time in free agency in 2009, where he would be the team's ace on their way to a World Series title. Though the Yankees have had chances recently, it would be the only ring Sabathia would receive in his career.
With the Yankees, the big lefty produced a 3.81 ERA over 11 seasons, while collecting 1,700 strikeouts in 307 appearance. Overall, he owned a career 3.74 ERA with 3,093 strikeouts in 561 appearances. Breaking the 3,000-strikeout mark, Sabathia became the 18th pitcher to do so, and only the third lefty in MLB history to reach the feat.
What Sabathia will do after hanging up his cleats will be interesting to see. He has his own podcast with YES Network's Ryan Ruocco and could see an opportunity in the media field. There is also the prospect of coaching, but that is something he wasn't considering while playing this season.