CC Sabathia has had one hell of a year. His 2019 MLB season with the New York Yankees began while he was still recovering from heart surgery. He later sustained a partially dislocated shoulder and knee injury, both of which expedited the end of his pro baseball career, and he retired from the sport in October.
“It’s kind of fitting. I threw until I couldn’t any more,” Sabathia told CBS Sports at the time.
While fans might have expected Sabathia to spend the first six months or so of his retirement resting while he recovered from his injuries (and honestly, who would blame him?), the former pitcher has actually been hitting the gym. Hard.
Pro athlete coach Dave Paladino, who has been working with Sabathia, recently shared a photo of the results of his training, and the internet was astounded.
The transformation was so drastic, in fact, that some people thought the photo might be fake, prompting Sabathia’s friend and podcasting partner Ryan Ruocco to clarify that yes, Sabathia’s weight loss and muscle gains were for real.
Not Photoshopped. The big fella has been getting after it during quarantine! @R2C2 https://t.co/UPZIdf7Dbq
This isn’t the first time Sabathia has demonstrated his willingness to take on a personal fitness challenge: he lost 30 pounds shortly after turning 30 in 2012. “Once you can prove to yourself what you’re capable of, you build confidence,” he told Men’s Health at the time.
At the height of his pro baseball career, Sabathia faced open harassment over his weight from other players. In 2017, MLB Hall of Famer Jim Rice mocked Sabathia and suggested the 6’7″ pitcher “lose some of that chicken and that donut and that burger weight.” Sabathia declined to directly respond, simply calling Rice’s comments “bitter.”
Not that any of that nonsense is on his mind any more. He’s too busy lifting weights with his gym buddy, bulldog Cherry.
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