July 10 (UPI) -- New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Progressive Field before Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, his final Midsummer Classic as a player.
Sabathia, who pitched in Cleveland from 2001 to 2008, was named an honorary All-Star last week. The veteran left-hander took the mound and threw a high ball to former Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. before the American League's 4-3 victory Tuesday night.
"Sitting down here talking to Sandy, just kind of reminiscing and stuff, then getting out there, it was a little nerve-wracking," said Sabathia, who joined the 3,000 strikeout club in April. "It was really cool."
Sabathia was 106-71 in his 7 1/2 seasons with the Indians. He won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award and was traded to Milwaukee midway through the 2008 season, only months before he joined the Yankees as a free agent.
Sabathia earned another standing ovation later in the game. He served as the American League's unofficial pitching coach and visited Yankees teammate Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the ninth inning.
"It was a great moment, understanding this is his last season and he's here as part of the celebration," Chapman said "It was a great experience. It's something I will always cherish."
An emotional Sabathia waved to the crowd as he returned to the American League's dugout.
Sabathia was asked after the game if he had a message for Indians fans.
"Thank you and I love you," he said. "One regret in my career is not winning the championship here. ... It will always be a place where I felt like I grew up. I came here at 17-years-old, like a boy. Left here [at] 27-years-old with three kids."
Sabathia is 5-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 14 games this season. The six-time All-Star is 251-157 with a 3.71 ERA and 3,057 strikeouts since making his debut nearly 20 years ago.