Sabathia beloved in his former hometown

Selig stepping down in 2012
A Black — and pinstripe blue — Friday

Even though he was a 28-year-old ace on the free agent market, a rarity for sure, only the Yankees and the Brewers bid for CC Sabathia‘s services last winter. Perhaps teams were scared by the Yankees’ imposing six-year, $140 million opening offer, and figured they couldn’t afford Sabathia. There was still hope, though, that he’d take a discount to play for another team. The Brewers took a shot with their five-year, $100 million offer, but there was a greater fear that the hometown team would swoop in with an offer.

Despite pitching across the country in Cleveland for most of his career, Sabathia has remained active in his hometown of Vallejo, California, about 30 miles northwest of San Francisco. Because of his family and community ties, the connection to the Giants was inevitable. Who wouldn’t want to pitch in front of their hometown crowd? But the Giants never made a serious offer, and the Yankees increased theirs. Sabathia opted to play on the opposite coast.

The residents of Vallejo aren’t spiteful, though. Sure, they’d love to see Sabathia pitching in black and orange, but they’re happy for his success no matter where he pitches. Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle captures the town’s love for Sabathia.

“Everybody here loves CC,” said Tony Hodges, president of North Vallejo Little League, where Sabathia learned to play baseball. “His smile, his leadership – it’s infectious. He can ride around here and he’ll never get hassled.”

The article describes CC’s involvement over Thanksgiving weekend. Vallejo, like many towns in California, is bankrupt. Sabathia is doing his part to help raise money for programs that, out of necessity, the town had to cut. The town will honor him tonight at the Mayor’s Image dinner.

Now (as Ben noted to me earlier), if only the residents of Vallejo can convince Sabathia to not opt out of his contract…

Selig stepping down in 2012
A Black — and pinstripe blue — Friday
  • Bob Stone

    CC seems like an all around genuine “Good Guy” in addition to being one the best aces in baseball.

  • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

    CC is the best starter we’ve had since David Wells.

    • steve (different one)

      did you leave out “chubby, LHed”? otherwise, i can’t quite figure out why you chose Wells…

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        Well, don’t just say you wouldn’t have chosen Wells, give me who you would have chosen!

        • steve (different one)

          i’m confused. Moose, Clemens, Pettitte, Cone, even Wang or maybe El Duque.

          why Wells?

          • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

            Hmm, loking at the numbers you have a point. I remember Wells as being better than he was.

            Cone, then.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Are you relying on any sort of actual evidence or are you just, like, using the force and saying whatever pops into your mind?

              • JMK aka The Overshare

                Shawn Chacon.

              • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                Numbers. I looked on baseball-reference.

            • steve (different one)

              i was just curious. Wells was a pretty good pitcher.

  • crapula

    I have cousins in Fairfield CA and Benicia CA which are both near Vallejo and yes, a lot of those small Delta towns are and have always done poorly which is a shame considering their proximity to both San Francisco and Sacramento and the weather etc.

    There are a lot of downtrodden places in a place that is really beautiful with such gorgeous weather. I’m really glad that CC does his part out there. I like him more than I did before!

    I hope they love him even more with a WS ring and encourage him to stay in the Apple until he retires so he can bring more glory to his hometown.

    • larryf

      DiMaggio was from Martinez-another town close by….

  • steve (different one)

    didn’t Heyman report that the Angels offered $140M late in the process, which was why the yanks took it up to $161?

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Could be. I never really took that Heyman report seriously, but that could just be my bias against him.

    • Crazy Eyes Killa

      I think if the Angels offered him 140 he woulda taken it, they are a good team and he just built a home in SoCal

      • steve (different one)

        that’s still $21M short…has any player *ever* left that much on the table?

  • Salty Buggah

    Wait, dont we want CC to opt out since he’ll be over 30 then and some King will be a FA then?

    • JSquared

      But I want Felix NOW!!!

  • SF Yanks

    What are the odds of a homegrown rotation happening in New York? Less than 1%?

    Lets say CC opts out, AJ’s contract expires, and now we’re 4 years down the road- Hughes and Joba are a formidable 1-2 with Nova, Z-Mack, IPK, Man-Ban, etc filling out the rest. Who wouldn’t love that?

    I would certainly be fine with keeping CC, and having 4 homegrown’s as well. But that again, who wouldn’t?

    I think everyone’s dream is a rotation filled with our own guys. At least mine is. I wouldn’t bet on it ever happening, but it would sure be nice.

    • Evil Empire

      Its my dream to have Felix Hernandez in pinstripes. I would say that the odds of a homegrown rotation are significantly less than 1%.

  • Evil Empire

    I’m not sure if there will be much financial incentive for CC to opt out.

    Its basically an option for 4/100M. Pretty sweet deal.

  • henry frisch

    His hometown is northeast of SF, not northwest.

  • Ban Bud

    The Giants couldn’t afford him – why, CC is making Barry Zito-type money!