New York Yankees’ fans are experiencing many mixed emotions as left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia formally announced Saturday that this would be his final season. The 38-year-old has been with the club since 2009 and has made quite an impact while wearing pinstripes. Sabathia decided he would retire after having some lingering health issues and a desire to become more involved with his children and wife. Yankees’ manager, Aaron Boone and other teammates have been very supportive of the decision and commended Sabathia for his leadership and contributions to the team.
Before his time in New York, Sabathia played for the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. Throughout his career, Sabathia has been named a six-time All-Star and is just 14 strikes away from the 3,000 strikeouts milestone. Although Sabathia does not present the typical stature of a major league pitcher, he has been nothing short of dominant since entering the league.
Weight fluctuation has played a significant role in determining his success on the mound throughout his 18-season career. Upon entering the league in 2001, Sabathia weighed in at approximately 300 pounds but was pitching at an elite level. Over the course of the next three seasons, the left-hander tallied an impressive 43-25 overall record with 461 total strikeouts. The numbers were incredible, but the curiosity of losing weight caused him to drop nearly 25 pounds for the 2004 season. Sabathia managed to maintain a healthier weight for the next three seasons, but his numbers fell drastically, as he recorded a 38-31 overall record. After giving his healthy lifestyle a chance, Sabathia returned to his current weight of 300 pounds and his numbers bounced back.
In 2007, Sabathia registered with an overall weight of 305 pounds, and his career began to reach new heights. He recorded 209 strikeouts, pitched 241.0 innings and secured a 19-7 overall record on the season, resulting in being selected as an All-Star. The accolades did not end with an All-Star game appearance but also being named the Cy Young award winner for the American League. In most cases, as a pitcher becomes heavier there are negative consequences, but Sabathia appears to be an exception. Nevertheless, weight or no weight, Sabathia has demonstrated that he is among the league’s most dominant hurlers and will most likely wind up in Cooperstown.
The Yankees are an organization that has seen their fair share of excellence on the mound. Pitchers like Whitey Ford, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera and so on have all come through the franchise. Although the fans are saddened to see Sabathia leave the game of baseball after the upcoming season, they will always cherish the moments he served as a Yankee.