NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees reacts against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

CC Sabathia has known Gerrit Cole for a decade, but he didn’t know if Cole was New York Yankees material until the 2019 All-Star game.

CC Sabathia and Gerrit Cole share a unique bond that goes back to when Cole was still in high school. Sabathia wasn’t always sure if Cole was cut out to play for the New York Yankees, but he revealed on his podcast—R2C2—that there was one specific moment when he knew Cole was Yankees material.

“This year, getting a chance to hang with (Cole) a lot at the All-Star Game, and then seeing him around other superstars in the dugout, in the clubhouse. I’m like, ‘Yeah. This is the guy.’ I could just tell,” Sabathia admitted.

“I had never had a chance to see him in the clubhouse or in the dugout, the way he interacts with guys. At the All-Star Game, I was like, ‘This guy needs to be a Yankee.'”

Sabathia and Cole met when Cole was still in high school when he was preparing for the MLB draft. The Yankees ended up drafting Cole 28th overall and at the time, Sabathia was one of the best pitchers in baseball. The two formed a bond and became friends despite the fact that Cole opted to go to UCLA rather than sign with the Yankees.

After missing out once before, the Yankees made Cole the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history this winter. Yankees fans can only hope that Cole can match Sabathia’s success in pinstripes. If he does, it could mean another World Series parade in New York.

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