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Cc Sabathia Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

CC Sabathia’s summer of Black brotherhood

This is a series of nine stories on the African-American experience in baseball.

The year before, in spring training, Sabathia had expressed frustration with baseball. He had been the lone Black player on Cleveland’s 25-man roster the year prior and was entering a season in which he and Dontrelle Willis were the game’s only significant Black starting pitchers. Baseball was deep into the era of the vanishing Black star.

“It’s not just a problem,” Sabathia said that spring. “It’s a crisis.”

He caused a stir. Some dismissed his comments as dramatic, but the problem of Black representation continues today. His generation signifies a period in which the bridge collapsed.

Svrluga: 60 feet 6 inches is a hallowed baseball number. It might be time for a change.

Sabathia, 41, fell in love with the game while shadowing his father, which meant he grew up idolizing stars who looked like him. As a boy from Vallejo, Calif., Sabathia worshiped Oakland’s Dave Stewart and Dave Parker. During his childhood, he related to many of the MVPs: George Bell, Rickey Henderson, Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Mo Vaughn, Andre Dawson, Kevin Mitchell, Barry Bonds, Terry Pendleton, Barry Larkin. He saw Dwight Gooden and Stewart win 20 games and dreamed of doing the same.

But by the time Sabathia had established himself in the big leagues, the days of abundant Black talent were over. He had too much personality to be a loner. Still, he didn’t feel he could be himself.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 17, 2021 at 02:05 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: african-americans, cc sabathia

Monday, May 24, 2021

When Your Central Park Softball Teammate Is a Former Yankees Superstar

During his final season with the Yankees, six-time All-Star C.C. Sabathia sometimes dreamed of one day playing for another team — namely, his friends’ rec-league softball team, the Warriors. And this year, two years after retiring and one year after the pandemic wiped out the 2020 season, Sabathia is finally getting his chance. He’s played in two games so far, and in between getting gawked at pregame by high-school kids finishing their own matchups and taking post-game photos with onlookers (and sometimes with opponents), Sabathia has been wowing his citizen teammates by mashing the ball all over Central Park’s North Meadow.

“This is something I’ve been talking about doing for years,” says Sabathia. “Playing softball in Central Park was like a bucket-list thing, and getting to do it with my buddies is even more fun.”

The Warriors were founded in 2012 by manager Mike Lunetta, a finance guy who assembled the initial roster from colleagues at his firm and some other assorted pals. One of those friends, Matt Siegel, had previously worked at the YES Network, which televises Yankees games, and he brought along a few friends of his own, including Ryan Ruocco, now an on-air personality at the network who also hosts a podcast with Sabathia.

Over the years, Siegel had become close with Sabathia, first at YES, then during a stint at Roc Nation Sports (which represents Sabathia), and now at Patricof Co (an investment platform for athletes, where Sabathia is a client). Softball would frequently come up in a group-text chat that included Siegel, Ruocco, Sabathia, and a couple of other guys. “It was a running joke that once he retires he was gonna come join the squad, and then this year, he was like, I’m ready, let’s go,” says Siegel.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 24, 2021 at 03:38 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia

 

 

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