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WATCH: Yankees’ CC Sabathia Joins Elite Company With Strikeout No. 3000

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On a Tuesday night in April, CC Sabathia further cemented himself in Major League Baseball’s record books by picking up his 3,000th career strikeout. With number 3,000, Sabathia joins an elite club filled with names like Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver, and Walter Johnson among others. Only the 17th player in the history of the storied sport to reach the mark, Sabathia all but cemented what should be a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
Over the course of his 19-year career, Sabathia has amassed a career record of 247-153 with a 3.69 ERA. Sabathia earned himself a Cy Young Award in 2007 and finished in the top five for voting in four other seasons. Along with multiple All-Star appearances and a World Series championship under his belt, Sabathia has one of the most established resumes in the game of baseball today. For what it is worth, Sabathia is also the MLB’s active leader in both strikeouts and innings pitched.
WATCH: Yankees’ CC Sabathia Joins Elite Company With Strikeout No. 3000
On a 1-2 count in the bottom of the second inning, Sabathia fooled John Ryan Murphy with a changeup out of the zone to catch him swinging. With the strikeout, Sabathia enters the realm of baseball elite. So just what names did Sabathia join by entering the 3,000 strikeout club?
Who Else is in the 3,000 Strikeout Club?
1. Nolan Ryan – 5,714
2. Randy Johnson – 4,875
3. Roger Clemens – 4,672
4. Steve Carlton – 4,136
5. Bert Blyleven – 3,701
6. Tom Seaver – 3,604
7. Don Sutton – 3,574
8. Gaylord Perry – 3,534
9. Walter Johnson – 3,509
10. Greg Maddux – 3,371
11. Phil Niekro – 3,342
12. Ferguson Jenkins – 3,192
13. Pedro Martinez – 3,154
14. Bob Gibson – 3,117
15. Curt Schilling – 3,116
16. John Smoltz – 3,084
With the exception of Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling, both of which have steroid allegations to their name, all 14 of the other members in the 3,000 strikeout club are in the MLB Hall of Fame. Considered the pitching equivalent to the 500 home run threshold, any pitcher who joins the illustrious club (that isn’t tainted by steroid allegations) is essentially given an automatic bid to the Hall of Fame.
While Nolan Ryan’s all-time career record of 5,714 strikeouts is essentially impossible for Sabathia to catch, he could climb up the ladder a little and finish ahead of John Smoltz. Sabathia has gone for between 120 and 160 strikeouts in each of his past four seasons and while he is retiring after this season, he only has 11 so far and as long as his health holds up, should pass Smoltz. This also gives him an outside shot of catching both Gibson and Schilling. While Sabathia is likely to wind up closer to the 120 mark on the season, that still puts him incredibly close to catching the pair at 3,116 and 3,117 respectively.

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