HBO has partnered with Major League Baseball to produce aÂ documentary on New York Yankees legend CC Sabathia, titledÂ Under The Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story.
According to a press release, the documentary takes a look at Sabathia’s life and career, including behind-the-scenes footage of his final season.
â€œI couldnâ€™t be more grateful for the chance to give viewers an inside look into my career and to share my unfiltered story,â€ Sabathia said. â€œI struggled for a long time with alcohol addiction and anxiety, which I pretty much hid from everyone I knew. Itâ€™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.â€
Sabathia, 40, made his MLB debut in 2001 with the Cleveland Indians, where he’d finish second in Rookie of the Year voting. He made all-star game appearances in 2003, 2004, and 2007 with the Indians, and would win his only Cy Young award in 2007.
With 2008 being a contract year, Sabathia got off to a rocky 6-8 start. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers before the trade deadline, and would go on to have one of the best stretches of his career. In his 17 Brewer starts, Sabathia went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA, leading the team to their first Postseason appearance in 26 years.
That off-season, Sabathia inked a seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees, the largest for a pitcher at the time. His first four seasons in New York were stellar, leading the league in wins his first two years and helping the Yankees to a 2009 World Series ring. He’d place in the top-four of Cy Young voting and be nominated to the All-Star Game three times in his first four seasons.
Following the 2011 season, the Yankees inked him to an extension through the 2016 season with a vesting option for the 2017 season. He struggled with both his health and his performance during that span, but showed effectiveness at times with solid control as he aged.
Sabathia’s 9-12 record and 3.91 ERA in 2016 led to the Yankees picking up his 2017 vesting option. He’d go on to a 14-5 record with a 3.69 ERA that season, getting his career fully back on track. The Yankees would then sign him to one-year deals for both 2018 and 2019 to finish his career a Yankee.
The documentary premiers Tuesday, December 22nd, at 9pm ET on HBO and streaming platform HBO Max.