NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – It certainly wasn’t the way fans wanted to see it end, but CC Sabathia coming off the field due to a shoulder injury on Thursday in game 4 of the ALCS was the pitcher’s last time playing professional baseball.
The 39-year-old veteran Yankees pitcher officially announced his retirement from baseball on Monday, reports CBS2’s Otis Livingston.
Maybe it was appropriate for the ultimate warrior giving everything he had for his team and fanbase as he ended his Major League career. He had been a leader with the Yankees ever since he came over in 2009 and helped lead them to a World Series title.
Sabathia posted his thank you to fan on social media on Monday.
“It all started in Vallejo, CA in my grandma’s backyard throwing grapefruits at a folding chair. I could have never imagined how much this game has meant to me since,” he said. “Through the ups and downs, baseball has always been my home. From Cleveland, to Milwaukee, New York, and everywhere in between, I’m so thankful to have experienced this journey with every teammate past and present.”
Thank you, Baseball. pic.twitter.com/o4lGeQi3uJ
— CC Sabathia (@CC_Sabathia) October 21, 2019
“All I ever wanted was to be a great teammate and win,” he said. “I’m so proud of this year’s team, we fought til the end. Love you guys!” said Sabathia. “I’m going to miss going out there on the mound and competing, but it’s time to say farewell. Thank you, Baseball.”
Sabathia spent four stints on the injured list in his final season.
He walked into Yankee Stadium’s interview room on Friday with his left arm in a sling, 16 hours after shuffling off the mound in pain following the 58,692nd and final pitch of his major league career.
That powerful left shoulder — which earned six All-Star appearances, the 2007 AL Cy Young Award and possibly a spot in the Hall of Fame — finally had given out.
“I think it’s just kind of fitting,” he said. “I threw until I couldn’t anymore.”
His burly body — 6-foot-6, 300 pounds and perhaps a tad more — had echoed the decision he announced last winter.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)