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#LegaCCy – Sabathia gets his 3,000th career strikeout

C.C. Sabathia has had this moment on his mind for a while now.  Ever since Spring Training he’s wanted to get his 3,000th strikeout over and done with.  Similar to Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez’s 3000th hits, Sabathia knew he was going to get it at some point his year but wasn’t sure when.

The scene was set for tonight.  Three strikeouts away from 3,000 and Sabathia is on the hill against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The first strikeout of the night was against David Peralta.  The second was against Christian Walker.  Up comes John Ryan Murphy and this happens;

Sabathia was honestly a bit subdued considering the magnitude of this moment.  Nonetheless, he has finally joined the 3,000 strikeout club, a club with an exclusive membership.  There are only 17 members of the club and all members are in the Hall of Fame minus Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, who are Hall worthy but haven’t been inducted for personal reasons.

Sabathia also becomes just the third lefty in MLB history to join the club, joining Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.  Although Sabathia would have been a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame anyway, this achievement is the icing on the cake of an incredible career.  To put things in perspective, watch the video below from C.C.’s MLB debut;

On April 8th, 2001 Sabathia made his MLB debut for the Cleveland Indians.  He faced the Baltimore Orioles and had a no decision in his first start after 5 2/3 innings.  His first strikeout came against Mike Kinkade of the O’s.  It feels like all so long ago, and it was, almost 18 years to the day.

Sabathia will always hold a special place in the hearts of Yankee fans.  He was the ace of the 2009 World Series team, the heartbeat of the pitching staff, and the grizzled veteran who has his teammates’ backs and who teaches valuable lessons to all the young pitchers on the staff.  More recently he’s gone through a career renaissance, learning to use off-speed pitches and location to extend his career.  He also is coming off heart surgery in the off-season and is looking to win a World Series in his final season as a pitcher.

Thank you C.C. for all you’ve done and for being the stalwart of the Yankees’ staff for all these years.  Always a consummate professional, C.C. Sabathia leaves behind a positive legacy that will live in Yankee lore forever.  He is the second to get his 3,000th strikeout in a Yankee uniform, as the only other was Phil Niekro.

Whatever happens with Sabathia during the season will be secondary to his career accomplishments.  He may not be the same pitcher he once was but he will always be known as one of the fiercest competitors in the sport.  Next stop for C.C.?  The Baseball Hall of Fame.

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