about

CC Sabathia

"Baseball is his passion. Family is his life. The Yankees are his team."

Every time CC Sabathia steps on the mound, he brings the heart of a champion to go along with his flame throwing left arm. Standing at 6'7" with his trademark hat cocked slightly to the side, CC's imposing presence on the mound belies a gentle giant, a man of family, faith and philanthropy, off the field.

On the field, CC's career has been a model of consistency. For the past ten seasons, this five-time All-Star and 2007 Cy Young Award winner, saw his ERA and strikeouts increase from year to year. Where did this man who is now the ace of the most storied franchise in baseball history, the New York Yankees, come from? It all started on the west coast in Vallejo, California. CC was a three-sport athlete – football, basketball and baseball whose ability on the baseball diamond was matched with what he could do on the gridiron where he was an all-conference tight end. In fact, he actually had a signed letter of intent with the University of Hawaii to play football before being selected as the 20th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians in the 1998 MLB Amateur Draft.

It didn't take long for the higher ups in Cleveland to recognize what they had in their young pitcher. In 2001, barely 20 years old, CC burst onto the Major League scene as the league's then youngest player and promptly won 17 games while also amassing an impressive 171 strikeouts. His success as a rookie was instrumental in helping the Indians reach the American League Division Series where CC won the only game he pitched. There was no doubt at the end of that season – Sabathia was here to stay. His mature performance and great success was recognized by baseball experts as he finished 2nd in the American League Rookie of the Year voting to the Seattle Mariners' Japanese import Ichiro Suzuki.

Cleveland Indians newest star!

Despite already being a two-time All-Star, Sabathia's real breakthrough season came in 2006 in which he recorded a career low 3.22 ERA which was good for 3rd in the American League. Most notably, he cut his walk totals by more than 20 from the previous year and by more than 50 compared with his rookie year. With fewer base runners reaching, Sabathia thrived and was able to stay as aggressive as ever on the mound. He delivered more complete games than any other pitcher in the American League, a testament to his ability to stay strong deep into games when his team needed him. With his electric stuff, the Majors took notice in 2006 that he wasn't just a heat-throwing up and comer anymore but that he was a complete pitcher and more dangerous than ever.

In 2011, CC came back strong and continued to dominate as the leader of the Yankees staff, pitching 237 innings and going 19-8, with a 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 230 punchouts – second in the American League. He had an exceptional July when he earned Pitcher of the Month honors and was named to the American League All Star Team. On October 31, 2011, the New York Yankees announced that they agreed to a contract extention with CC that will keep him in pinstripes for many years to come.

While the fans CC has touched throughout his career in Cleveland, Milwaukee and now New York have been thrilled to see the gentle giant fulfilling his immense promise as a frontline starter on contending teams, there can be no fan happier than his mom, Margie Sabathia.

At an early age, she instilled the importance of family into CC. With a strong base and belief in himself, CC knew he could accomplish anything. "Be confident" she always told him "but be humble too." CC knows he's blessed to have a mother who understands sports and was able to help him appreciate the game, fulfill his God-given ability and above all, display good sportsmanship.

"We talk about everything," Sabathia says. "She understands the game big-time. I've been able to talk about sports with her – all sports – since I was 12."

When he steps out on the mound, the lessons she taught him as a child ring loudly in his head. What will his legacy be not just on the field? How can he have an impact on people's lives? That's the importance of displaying good sportsmanship. It might be tough when you have the talent Sabathia has and the success he has experienced at such a young age but "she always made sure I was humble and appreciated the game."

His wife Amber, now helps to keep CC happy, healthy and focused. High School sweethearts, who remain happily married to this day, Amber shares in all of his successes and helps him through the highs and lows of the grind of a 162-game season which will hopefully last deep into October for many seasons to come.

As CC lives his dream as a professional athlete, he looks forward to joining Amber in passing on the lessons learned, both on and off the field, to their own family, which include four wonderful children, Carsten, Jaden, Cyia, and Carter.

2009 - the Yankees era begins!

The 2009 season saw CC donning the legendary pinstripes of the New York Yankees and he became a sensation in the Big Apple as the team's workhorse. His American League leading 19 wins came in 34 starts making him the second most active starting pitcher for the season. CC was third among AL hurlers with a 3.37 ERA while opposing batters were only able to average .232 in batting against him. Capping the year for CC was a trip to the American League playoffs where he was ALCS MVP and joining his teammates in defeating the Philadelphia Phillies to become the 2009 Major League Baseball World Champions.

Through the All-Star break in 2010, CC had not let up. He closed with 8 straight wins in 8 consecutive starts to tie the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price for the American League lead in wins at 12. That mark earned CC his fourth All-Star nomination. In the second half of the year, CC accelerated his wins and lead the American League with 21 victories, a new career high.

In 2011, CC came back strong and continued to dominate as the leader of the Yankees staff, pitching 237 innings and going 19-8, with a 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 230 punchouts – second in the American League. He had an exceptional July when he earned Pitcher of the Month honors and was named to the American League All Star Team. On October 31, 2011, the New York Yankees announced that they agreed to a contract extention with CC that will keep him in pinstripes for many years to come.

While the fans CC has touched throughout his career in Cleveland, Milwaukee and now New York have been thrilled to see the gentle giant fulfilling his immense promise as a frontline starter on contending teams, there can be no fan happier than his mom, Margie Sabathia.

At an early age, she instilled the importance of family into CC. With a strong base and belief in himself, CC knew he could accomplish anything. "Be confident" she always told him "but be humble too." CC knows he's blessed to have a mother who understands sports and was able to help him appreciate the game, fulfill his God-given ability and above all, display good sportsmanship.

"We talk about everything," Sabathia says. "She understands the game big-time. I've been able to talk about sports with her – all sports – since I was 12."

When he steps out on the mound, the lessons she taught him as a child ring loudly in his head. What will his legacy be not just on the field? How can he have an impact on people's lives? That's the importance of displaying good sportsmanship. It might be tough when you have the talent Sabathia has and the success he has experienced at such a young age but "she always made sure I was humble and appreciated the game."

His wife Amber, now helps to keep CC happy, healthy and focused. High School sweethearts, who remain happily married to this day, Amber shares in all of his successes and helps him through the highs and lows of the grind of a 162-game season which will hopefully last deep into October for many seasons to come.

As CC lives his dream as a professional athlete, he looks forward to joining Amber in passing on the lessons learned, both on and off the field, to their own family, which include four wonderful children, Carsten, Jaden, Cyia, and Carter.

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Contest

CC in ACTION DRAWING CONTEST

About

Hey kids! CC's looking for his creative fans!

Share your most creative drawing of CC

Sabathia in action. Contest runs from June 1 until June 30, '14!

How to Join

Take a picture of your drawings and post in on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #CCKidsClub *make sure it can be viewed publicly

Prizes

All photos hashtagged #CCKidsClub will automatically be entered to the contest and will get a chance to win a CC Sabathia autographed baseball! Read More..

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