Will CC Sabathia Help Redefine HOF Credentials for Pitchers?
There are few automatic benchmarks when it comes to pitchers getting into the Hall of Fame. Some would say there is only one number that ensures entry to Cooperstown: 300 wins. But, with the game trending away from an emphasis on wins and fewer and fewer starting pitchers going deep enough into games to qualify for wins, another 300-game winner ever seems like a long shot.
So, will 250 become the new 300? Earlier this week, CC Sabathia joined exclusive starting pitching company as he collected his 250th career win to pair with more than 3,000 strikeouts. Sabathia is one of only fourteen pitchers in Major League Baseball history to compile those numbers and the only player in that group not currently in the Hall of Fame is Roger Clemens.
Sabathia has a Cy Young Award, ALCS MVP and has been a "big game" pitcher throughout his career, even as the curtain draws to a close. He is no longer the workhorse he was in Cleveland, Milwaukee and early on in his Yankees career, but those are the seasons that stand out most when looking back on his time in the big leagues.
If Sabathia doesn't get a plaque in Cooperstown, he will be the exception, not the rule. Is that credential enough for enshrinement?