NEW YORK -- One by one the models came out in the fashion show wearing colorful attire and without any rehearsal for an off-day first: Sebastian and Brook Stewart; Blake and Trip Hafner; Alex, Adam, Luke and Audrey Overbay; Luke Robertson; Hunter and Miller Gardner; and "Little C," Jaeden, Cyia and Carter Sabathia.
CC Sabathia had the beaming smile of a lifetime on his face throughout as he took his own mobile video and pictures from the front row. It was his wife Amber's fashion show, introducing her new line of "CCandy" kids apparel now available at the MLB.com Shop.
Fewer than 24 hours earlier, Sabathia had worked 7 1/3 strong innings, and that had gone for naught after a rare blown save by Mariano Rivera The Yankees had ended a trip by being swept by the last-place White Sox, and they had arrived home at 5:30 in the morning. Yet there they were, the Sabathias along with Chris Stewart, Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay, David Robertson and Brett Gardner, with wives and their kids all turned into runway models at the MLB Fan Cave.
"CC knows how to leave baseball at the stadium, and at home we're family," Amber said. "And it's all about family."
Sabathia was encouraged by his latest outing and showed no signs of frustration after the no-decision left him with six consecutive winless starts.
"Baseball is a tough sport," he said. "It's every day. You're going to have some ups and downs. Mo has been as close to automatic as you can be. To see that happen yesterday was something rare, but I know he'll come back and be ready to go."
The Yankees entered Thursday 11 1/2 games behind Boston in the American League East, and seven back in the race for the second Wild Card berth. They would have to leapfrog four teams to reach that second Wild Card. The Tigers come to Yankee Stadium for three games starting Friday, followed by four games against the Angels.
"It's going to be a tight race. It's going to be tough," Sabathia said. "It's going to be a battle, not going to be easy. But I think we have the guys in there to get it done. Whether that's a Wild Card or to come back and win the division.
"You still have to have faith that we can get it done. We've got guys coming off of injuries. When we can get back to 100 percent healthy, I think we'll be fine."
There would be time to go after that again. For the big left-hander, this was a time to watch the kids, to breathe it in and take pride in what his wife accomplished.
"This was awesome, to watch my wife put this together two years ago, to come up with the idea, and to be able to see it with the shirts and everything we have, the hoodies -- I mean, it was unbelievable," he said. "To see my kids modeling it, it was even better.
"It's been a lot of work. ... To see her come through with this and put this fashion show together and have all this buzz around her line is definitely a big accomplishment. I'm proud of her."
Amber worked with MLB Properties and Outerstuff to turn her dream into a reality. This is her husband's 13th season in the Majors, and their oldest son, Carsten Charles III (Little C), is now 9. She said she had walked into team stores year after year and after constantly seeing the "all-pink and all-blue," she was determined to help dress kids like hers.
"CCandy is a lifestyle brand," she said. "We were able to pull just the original blue and pink shirts, and really put some fun neon, splashes of glitter. You know, the clothes that kids want to wear not only to the baseball game, but they also want to wear it to school, to their softball game, out skateboarding -- it's just a lifestyle brand they can wear anywhere."
She credited many people for bringing this to fruition, and one person in particular:
"CC was extremely supportive," Amber said. "There would be no CCandy if it wasn't for CC. The name derived from him. I told him two years ago I had planned on doing this and he told me, 'It's an awesome idea, go for it'. And here we are now."
There was no run-through for this fashion show. The kids showed up with the parents and they went out in no particular order, and that was part of the charm. It was a respite for the dads.
"It means a lot," Gardner said. "My family and CC's family are pretty close. ... I know this is something that's very important to them, and I think it's a great idea. I think the clothing line is going to work out great. Our kids have a great time wearing the cool clothes, and it's a lot of fun.
"For us, it was get a little bit of sleep, just play with the kids, enjoy the off-day, then get a real good night of sleep tonight and be ready for tomorrow. But it's nice to be off of that road trip, for sure. We didn't play well on the trip, but the bottom line is we've got to start playing well, we've got to win ballgames, and hopefully we'll start to do that tomorrow night."