HENDERSON, Nev. – Former Major League Baseball great CC Sabathia will light the Al Davis Memorial Torch prior to kickoff of Sunday's Las Vegas Raiders-San Francisco game at Allegiant Stadium.
Sabathia has been a longtime fixture at Raiders home games in Oakland, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The Vallejo native attended Vallejo High School and in 19 MLB seasons, won the Cy Young Award in 2007, led the league in wins in both 2009 and 2010 and won a World Series ring in 2009. He was also voted the 2009 American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player.
Sabathia was Cleveland's first-round pick in the 1998 MLB Draft, making his major league debut in 2001 and spent seven-and-a-half seasons with the Indians before being traded to Milwaukee in 2008. He then played for the New York Yankees from 2009-19 where in 2017, he became the all-time American League leader in strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher. At the time of his retirement following the 2019 season, he led all active Major League players in career wins, career innings pitched and career strikeouts.
Sabathia is the latest of a distinguished list that have been bestowed the honor, beginning with the late John Madden, who was the first to light the torch on October 18, 2011. The First Lady of Raider Nation Mrs. Carol Davis was the first to light the Al Davis Memorial Torch honoring her late husband in Las Vegas prior to the Raiders' inaugural contest at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020.
Since the tradition began in 2011 in Oakland, many Raiders Alumni, celebrities and fans have had the privilege to light the Torch before each home game. The Al Davis Memorial Torch is a tribute to Mr. Davis' legacy as the Raiders' longtime owner, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, AFL Coach of the Year, AFL Commissioner, and the architect of the Raiders' Commitment to Excellence in recognition of Mr. Davis' enduring vision that "the fire that burns the brightest in the Raiders' organization is the will to win."