CC Sabathia
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

There are many things in this world that provide a false sense of security. Especially when you are addicted to it. Alcoholism is a hard reality people have faced since the dawn of time. Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia was almost another victim to the bottle but managed to find his way, as revealed in the new documentary, Under The Grapefruit Tree.

Without the sad reality being in the public view for the last five years, CC Sabathia on paper is a future Hall of Famer. A six-time All-Star and the 2007 Cy Young award winner, he’s racked up a career total of 3,093 strikeouts and a 3.74 earned run average. That strikeout total is 16th all-time, right behind Curt Schilling.

In the HBO Max series, it talks about Sabathia’s low point back in 2015. He was taking the initiative to excuse himself from the season (even in the midst of a playoff race), and take it upon himself to attend rehab. This saved his life.

He recalls certain moments prior to the decision that marked what made him an alcoholic. Examples include drinking four beers around age 15 or adding the similar feel of painkillers in college.

Slamming Vicodin, Percocets, and two bottles of Hennessey became a daily ritual for the left-handed starter. For instance, things only became worse when he’d show up in the Yankee’s clubhouse constantly hungover. It was around 2015 when fellow Pitcher Chris Young told him “You’ll feel bad now, but you’ll come out of rehab a hero.”

As a result, five years later, CC Sabathia hasn’t touched alcohol or pills since that low point. After retirement in 2019, he has found refuge with his family. His life is calm and quiet and doesn’t feel the urge to get a coaching or broadcasting job.