HomeTeamsGuardiansA Guardian For Life: Cleveland Will Welcome CC Sabathia To Its Hall...

A Guardian For Life: Cleveland Will Welcome CC Sabathia To Its Hall Of Fame

From 1995 to 1999, the Cleveland Guardians made the postseason every year, including a couple of World Series appearances in 1995 and 1997. In 2000, they had lost some steam and missed the playoffs: those incredible lineups they fielded in the second half of the nineties were now disbanded.

They weren’t bad in 2000, but it was clear they were on the decline. However, only a year later, a young left-hander made his appearance and restored hope for the franchise. He was raw and wild, but brimming with talent. His name was CC Sabathia.

Now, 23 years after that moment, the Guardians announced that Sabathia has been elected to the franchise’s Hall of Fame. He will be honored in a ceremony on August 3, in front of thousands of people at Progressive Field. It will be a day to remember: the first 15,000 fans in attendance will also receive a Sabathia bobblehead, but that’s just a fun fact in the middle of a team honoring one of its legends.

Sabathia made his debut with Cleveland in 2001 and finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting behind some guy who took the league by storm named Ichiro Suzuki. The Guards made the postseason again that year, but lost in the division round.

That year, Sabathia had a 4.39 ERA in 33 starts and 180.1 innings. He struck out 171 hitters, which shows how good his stuff was, but also walked 95. Those days, his control was more of an “on and off” thing.

But Cleveland remained patient with him, and by 2003, he had lowered his ERA under 4.00 (3.60 to finish the year) and his walks tally to 66. The southpaw was, officially, an All-Star caliber hurler, a feat that he repeated in 2004 and 2007, when he won his first and only Cy Young award.

In that magical 2007 season, Sabathia posted a 3.21 ERA in 241 innings, a number that led the league. He struck out 209 batters and edged Josh Beckett in the Cy Young vote in the American League. Cleveland returned to the playoffs in 2007, fueled by Sabathia’s run of dominance, and came this close to beating the Boston Red Sox in their seven-game AL Championship Series.

The 2008 campaign signaled the start of a rebuild for Cleveland, so they flipped Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers. There, he had one of the most impressive runs we have seen over a half: a 1.65 ERA in 130.2 innings, with an 11-2 record.

The next year, in 2009, Sabathia landed a long-term contract with the Yankees and won the World Series. It was a deserved outcome for one of the most competitive pitchers in the game.

He would go on to pitch the rest of his career in New York, which became a second home for him. But it was in Cleveland where he took his first steps as a major leaguer, where he matured as a pitcher and as a person, and where he reached new heights individually. Those things are hard to forget.

Overall, Sabathia left a solid 3.83 ERA in eight seasons with Cleveland, with a 106-71 record and 1,265 punchouts in 1,528.2 frames. From 2006 to 2008, he gave the Guardians a true ace.

On August 3, Guardians fans will have the opportunity to thank Sabathia for all his contributions. The pitcher, meanwhile, will be able to address the first crowd that cheered for him in the major leagues. It will be a beautiful day in Ohio.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here