When it comes to the Baseball Hall of Fame, there are a few milestones that are usually automatic locks for the hall. 3,000 hits, 500 homeruns, 300 wins. In the case of CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, he is just 14 strikeouts from reaching one of these “automatic lock” milestones. Sabathia will be looking to collect his 3,000th strikeout early in the 2019 season. Coming into his age 38 season after 18 seasons in the big leagues, retirement is certainly on the mind of the left-handed. Let us go over the career of CC Sabathia and evaluate his chances of being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.
After spending the first seven and a half years of his career as a Cleveland Indian. Sabathia emerged into relevance after being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008 and playing a major role in one of the more intense postseason runs we have seen in recent years. With the Brewers, Sabathia won 11 games with an ERA of 1.65 in 17 starts; not to mention he maintained a WHIP just above 1.000 during this stretch. Following the 2008 season is when he signed with the pinstripes and winning a World Series Championship in just his first year with the team. After struggling with his health, loss of velocity and weight between 2013-2015, Sabathia bounced back nicely the following years and becoming a quality pitcher once again.
To cut to the chase; yes, Sabathia certainly does belong in the Hall of Fame. After collecting his 3,000th strikeout to go with five All-Star selections, a Cy-Young Award and World Series title, he sure will be a safe bet for the Hall at some point if not first ballot. Between the years of 2006 and 2012, Sabathia was regarded as one of the best pitchers in baseball. In case you are not convinced, let us consider the following comparison:
Jack Morris was on the Hall of Fame ballot for a very long time before being selected by the Veteran’s committee. A lot of people questioned whether he was deserving due to his high ERA (3.90). The people who were pro-Morris made the argument that while his ERA was high, but he also ate up a lot of innings and was still one of the better pitchers in baseball during his time and pitched during the steroid era. It also helps that he was also a three-time World Series Champion. Sabathia also pitched during a time where PED’s were an unfortunate staple of the game and still managed to post a lower ERA (3.70). Sabathia, assuming he stays healthy enough, will also surpass Morris in wins and innings this season. The two pitchers are tied for All-Star selections; however, Morris has never won a Cy-Young Award.
Just to be clear, I am not taking anything away from Jack Morris. I am just stating if Morris were to be elected in the Hall, then there is really no way you can deny CC Sabathia either. Some might argue that Sabathia was merely a journey man who collected some of his accomplishments just because he stuck around long enough, but when you are one of the best pitchers in baseball for an eight year stretch it is rather difficult to put him into that category.