Imagine you and your friends form a team next spring to play a baseball game in your hometown. The opposing team: Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken Jr., Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt. Someone is about to become the most popular person in his or her community! From now through August 31, baseball fans across the country can cast votes at MLB.com for their favorite players at each position. For each ballot cast, fans will be entered to win the chance to take on the winning Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams Team on their home turf next spring.
“It’s pretty cool, having a chance to have 11 of these guys come out and play in the community, and have these fans get involved,” New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia tells In Touch. “I know these guys are excited about getting a chance to get voted on.”
But you do have some challenging decisions to overcome along the way, as the ballot is filled with 30 living Major League Baseball greats, many of them Hall of Famers. For CC, his pick of Randy Johnson as pitcher seemed to be a no-brainer. “He was one of my favorite players growing up, he’s a lefty, and he’s from the Bay Area, like I am. He’s probably one of the best pitchers ever,” CC says. “That list is unbelievable, those guys are all great players. Hopefully one day I can get on that list.”
The idea doesn’t seem too outlandish for the Cy Young Award recipient, who has led or tied for the American League lead in wins in each of the past two seasons and is currently tied for first with 16 wins. Yet the pitcher remains humble, sharing that the most memorable moment of the season for him was watching fellow teammate Derek Jeter join the 3,000 hits club. “To watch him go through it… if you wrote that up, people wouldn’t watch it!” CC jokes.
And the most important message he hopes to send to fans? Just keep up the support. “I love the fans here in New York. There's nothing like the fans in the Bronx and the energy they give us every night.”