Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia formally announced Saturday that 2019 will be his last Major League season, according to ESPN’s Coley Harvey. Sabathia, at his new conference at Yankees Spring Training said, “I just wanted to make this announcement that 2019 is my final season.”
During his 19 seasons with Cleveland, Milwaukee, and the New York Yankees, Sabathia has been a model of consistency with 14 seasons of at least 11 wins including a career high 21 in 2010. He stands only 14 strikeouts away from 3,000 and only 4 wins away 250 to become the 14th pitcher in MLB history with at least 250 wins and 3,000 strikeouts.
Sabathia, 38, is a World Series champion and is tied for 51st on the all-time wins list. During the height of his power in 2009 and 2010 he won a combined 40 games, the ALCS MVP in 2009 along with a World Series title. The 2007 Cy Young Award winner, is 4th in Yankees history with 1,593 strikeouts.
During an emotional press conference Saturday Sabathia reflected on his late father’s proclamation that he would one day play for the New York Yankees saying, “For me to be able to live out that dream for him is great, but I just wish he would have been here.”
Sabathia has been what Yankees fans call ‘A True Yankee’ throughout his time in the Bronx. In his 10 years with the Yankees he has pitched through injury, come up big in the postseason, and most importantly he’s won.
The last few years of his career have been marred by knee injuries which haven’t allowed him to be the pitcher he’s accustomed to being. During the off season he had to have an emergency heart procedure after experiencing shortness of breath during a pitching session. Although he has not begun to throw off the mound, he has been cleared to resume baseball activities.
“I didn’t want to overstay my welcome or anything like that. I wanted to be effective and be able to go out and feel like I have a chance to help the team win, I feel like I’m still able to do that.”
The Yankees are famous for their retirement farewell tours in which no doubt Sabathia will be the recipient of this season. The Yankees most recent farewell tour retiree of course was former five-time World Series champion Derek Jeter back in 2014.
Jeter, CEO of the Miami Marlins, said of Sabathia who he played with six seasons said,
“…CC embodies what it means to be a professional athlete and has been an incredible ambassador for baseball. He has an unwavering commitment to success on the field and an even greater desire to give back through his foundation work off the field.”
Sabathia will go down as one of the best left-handers of his generation and looks to as he says, “…go out with my last year and just giving everything, hopefully that’ll turn out good for me and not trying to save something for 2020 or years after that. This is it. This is the final year.”
Flip the page to see to reaction to C.C. Sabathia’s retirement from the likes of LeBron James, Steve Kerr, etc.