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Boston Red Sox, Roger Clemens Take Walk Down Memory Lane

BOSTON, MA - 1987:  Roger Clemens #21 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during a game in the 1987 MLB Season at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIMay 20, 2012

Today marks a special anniversary for Boston Red Sox nation. On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Roger Clemens won his first major league game.

This 6’4,” 220 lb. Dayton Ohio native took the hill for Red Sox against the Minnesota Twins at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. “The Rocket” looked to rebound from a rough outing in his big league debut against the Cleveland Indians just five days prior.  Cleveland rudely welcomed this fireballer to the show, shelling Clemens for four earned runs on 11 hits in just 5.2 innings of work. Cleveland won the game 7-5.

But Clemens rebounded nicely against the Twins a few days later, pitching seven strong innings for the Red Sox in the team’s 5-4 victory. On the day, Clemens surrendered four runs on seven hits.

A sign of things to come, Clemens struck out seven and walked just one.

Clemens went on earn a respectable 9-4 record with a 4.32 ERA in his rookie season. He struck out 126 hitters in 133.1 innings of work.

After a brief set back with Boston in 1985, Clemens went on to win the AL Cy Young in 1986. He also won the AL MVP. These would be just two of many achievements Clemens would garner during his storied yet controversial career.

Clemens eventually retired with 354 career wins, which is ninth all-time. Clemens also retired with 4,672 strikeouts, which is third all-time behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875).

But most importantly, whatever baseball fans think of Clemens personally, it is an indisputable fact that Clemens’ performances excited (and angered) baseball fans all over the country. I know growing up a Detroit Tigers fan, I dreaded seeing Clemens on the docket. For I knew my home team would probably lose that day. But I came to the ballpark regardless because Clemens was so fun to watch.

I know Red Sox nation felt the same way during the days he roamed the grounds at Fenway Park.

 

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