12/10/08 4:40 PM EST
Celebrate Sabathia's arrival in style
MLB.com Shop has plenty to keep fans satisfied until April
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Customized Sabathia Jersey. Holiday shoppers, take note: You can already pre-order Sabathia's authentic home jersey from the Yankees.com Shop, so no need to wait. Once his jersey number becomes official -- one would presume he keeps wearing 52 since it's available -- your order will be shipped along with the authentic details.
Season Ticket Deposits. Sabathia agreed to a seven-year, $160 million contract with the Bronx Bombers, and there is already anticipation that he might start the home opener against none other than his former rotation mate and 2008 American League Cy Young winner Cliff Lee of the Indians. Place your deposit now to become a Licensee and enjoy 2009 in the new house.
Bomber bucks. These will make a great holiday gift right now for any Yankees fan, and they're a great way to give others the thrill of seeing a Sabathia outing. They are available in any denomination and redeemed for the purchase of tickets to any regular-season home individual ticket, or for a Yankee Stadium tour.
Mounted Memories Yankees Golden Classic baseball display case. This is how to display an autographed baseball. Now, all you have to do is go out there and get CC's signature. The best way to do that is ...
Go to Spring Training. Sabathia will report in February with pitchers and catchers to the Yankees' camp in Tampa, Fla., and then he'll be pitching more often during Grapefruit League exhibitions at Legends Field. The more relaxed atmosphere makes it easier to get star players' autographs. Of course, you also can be on the lookout for an autographed baseball that inevitably will be at the Yankees.com Shop.
Yankees toolbar. Yes, he's big. But you can take Sabathia with you wherever you go. Just download the new-and-improved toolbar for free -- no personal information is required -- and enjoy all of the benefits that are making this such a popular app for other Yankees fans. Among those features, it will give you Yankees news and alerts immediately -- even tailored to Sabathia info, if you want. It works on IE and Firefox browsers and comes with an uninstaller, just in case.
Trading cards. Bid at the MLB.com Auction on any of the numerous Sabathia cards there. You'll find rookie cards, and cards that come with pieces of equipment he wore in games.
Upload your own photo. Another excellent holiday gift choice, this service lets you upload an image of yourself and put it on a wide array of Yankees products -- wall clocks, coasters, coffee mugs, posters, frames and more. You know someone's going to put a CC picture on one of those.
StubHub tickets. The official fan-to-fan secondary ticketing marketplace of the Yankees currently features tickets to all 2009 games at Yankee Stadium, including the first exhibition series, April 3-4 against the Cubs. Whether buying or selling, that is an additional opportunity to help ensure that fans who want to see Sabathia pitch in pinstripes next season can do so.
Think greatness. Casey Stengel once called Whitey Ford a "money pitcher." If you're a Yankees fan, that's what you hope Sabathia will become in his new role. There's another signed baseball worth ordering as a beautiful piece to your memorabilia collection, while you're waiting to get Sabathia's signature.
Player file. For right now, the story continues to be told as a new superstar enters the Yankees fold. Visit Sabathia's page to learn more about him, and watch for the moment when the colors and logos on that page change back to the American League club of New York. Watch his videos and read about him there, and then allow yourself to visualize a season with the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner throwing for the Bombers.
It will be a new era at the new Yankee Stadium, with a new ace on the hill.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.