CC Sabathia on Monday announced his retirement after 19 seasons in baseball, including more than a decade with the New York Yankees.
Sabathia made the official announcement in an Instagram post, though it’s long been known the 2019 season was Sabathia’s swan song in a nearly two-decade career with the Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers.
“Through the ups and downs, baseball has always been my home,” he wrote in the Instagram message. “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. All I ever wanted was to be a great teammate and win.
“Thank you, baseball.”
Sabathia ended his career by pitching until he physically could not pitch any longer. He was removed from a relief outing in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros after injuring his shoulder. The Yankees later announced he suffered a dislocated shoulder during the game — though, even with his shoulder out of place, Sabathia tossed a warmup pitch in a vain attempt to extend his career for a few more outs.
In his final season, Sabathia had a 4.95 ERA and 107 strikeouts.
Sabathia was the active leader in wins (251), strikeouts (3,093) and batters faced (14,989) before calling it quits. He won one World Series with the Yankees in 2009.
He spent eight seasons with the Indians, his first organization and the one for which he won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award. Sabathia was traded to the Brewers in 2008 and spent that half-season helping Milwaukee to the playoffs.
In 17 regular-season starts with the Brewers, he recorded a 1.65 ERA and pitched a stunning seven complete games. His stint with the Brewers helped set him up for the massive seven-year, $161 million contract he received from the Yankees in free agency after that year.
He retires having earned more than $260 million, currently the highest career earnings for a retired pitcher.