CC Sabathia’s path toward the big leagues started with a few grapefruits tossed across a California backyard. Now, the retired left-hander is getting the Hollywood treatment.
Sabathia’s life story will be detailed in his own words for “Under the Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story,” a documentary from HBO Sports produced in association with Major League Baseball. It will debut on Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and will be available for streaming on HBO Max.
“I couldn't be more grateful for the chance to give viewers an inside look into my career and to share my unfiltered story,” Sabathia said. “I struggled for a long time with alcohol addiction and anxiety, which I pretty much hid from everyone I knew. It’s my hope we can inspire athletes and non-athletes alike to open up and let their friends, family and teammates know that there is a path through this. You are not alone.”
The film features behind-the-scenes footage of Sabathia’s final season with the Yankees in 2019, including his final appearance in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.
Sabathia reflects honestly upon his legacy as one of the game’s top left-handers as well as the challenges that shaped him, including his longtime battle with alcohol addiction that culminated in treatment after the 2015 season.
The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner, Sabathia pitched to a 251-161 record over a decorated 19-year career in the Majors with the Indians, Brewers and Yankees, earning six All-Star selections.
Sabathia was the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 ALCS, helping the Yankees inaugurate the new Yankee Stadium with the franchise’s 27th World Series title. In his final season, Sabathia became the 17th pitcher in Major League history to record 3,000 strikeouts, joining Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson as the only left-handers to do so.