With his next victory, Carsten Charles (CC) Sabathia will join the 250 Wins/3,000 Strikeout Club.  When the 6-foot, 6-inch southpaw reaches that milestone, the long-time pitcher will be able to celebrate his final season in the majors knowing that one day he will be enshrined in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

His final trip toward the finish line has not been easy; however, the career of CC Sabathia has been nothing short of remarkable.  During his eight-seasons in Cleveland, Sabathia compiled a 106-71 record, giving him a .599 winning percentage and a respectable American League ERA of 3.83 with a WHIP (Walk and Hits per Innings Pitched) of 1.265.  During the 2008 season, Sabathia was traded to Milwaukee to help them with his playoff push.  It was during that time that CC did some of his best work, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a WHIP barely over 1.00 while often pitching on three-days rest in September to help the team even more.  His success has continued in New York where he is 132-83 in pinstripes, a .614 winning percentage with an amazingly consistent WHIP of 1.264.

In the modern era, 250 victories for a pitcher will be equal to what 300 once was during the era of four-man rotations and 40 starts a season; the increase use of bullpen pitchers has also hurt starters since many are pulled from games with a lead, only to watch it given up by someone else.

Above all the numbers too is the leadership that CC Sabathia has provided for his teammates, especially over the last 11 seasons with the New York Yankees.  He teaches young players how to be professional players and teammates as well as being a spokesperson for the team when things are going well or badly.  He puts the team first above his own goals, such as last year when he put at risk a $500K bonus to make sure a member of the Tampa Bay Rays was hit after one of his own teammates were hit.  The retaliation caused him to get toss from a game that he needed to pitch enough innings to reach an incentive clause in his contract, falling short of the total number needed to collect the bonus.  The Yankees, to their credit, paid the bonus anyway.

While his numbers may not jump off the page to some baseball fans and Hall of Fame voters, having seen CC Sabathia pitch and how he handled himself off the field makes it easy for me to want to see him have his day in Cooperstown.  I feel his talents merit such an honor and I believe he should and will have his day in the Upstate New York sun the same way he had so many days in the New York City and Cleveland sun.


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