Roger Clemens is 50 years old and has not thrown a baseball for a professional team since 2007, but the latter part of that statement will change this weekend as he is set to start for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
The Skeeters are a minor league team in the Houston area that competes in the Atlantic League.
Clemens’ first start will certainly be a fascinating performance to watch. In February of 2008, Clemens was a 45-year-old retired pitcher testifying before Congress that he had never used steroids. In June of 2012, he was a 49-year-old retired pitcher who was acquitted of all charges of obstruction of justice.
At no point in this saga did the sporting world widely suspect that in August of 2012, Clemens would be a 50-year-old active baseball player. Here is how you can watch the Rocket’s comeback.
Date: Saturday, August 25
Time: 8:05 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN Classic
Live Stream: ESPN3
Listen: KTHT 97.1 FM
What to Watch For
Roger Clemens, Of Course
What is Clemens trying to prove? Is this just an attempt to pad his Hall of Fame résumé? Will his 50-year-old arm fall off?
There are so many questions surrounding Clemens’ return to baseball, and at least some of the answers will be found when he takes the mound on Saturday night.
Clemens is undoubtedly a phenomenal baseball talent. He proved that with 11 All-Star appearances, seven Cy Young awards and an MVP.
But coming back to baseball at his age after being away from the game for so long is a risky endeavor. This has the potential to go horribly awry, but there is certainly a chance that Clemens could write another chapter in his roller coaster of a career.
Clemens is not the only recognizable name of the Skeeters’ roster.
Former Houston Astros outfielder Jason Lane pitches for the club, while Tim Redding—another former Astro—is also on the staff. Both men are well into their 30s, and nearing the tail-end of their careers.
Fans wondering what happened to Scott Kazmir will have their answer if they turn on ESPN Classic on Saturday night. The two-time All Star struggled with injuries in recent years and lost his touch on the mound. Now he is back in his hometown with the Skeeters.
It will be easy to wax nostalgic when looking at the Skeeters’ pitching staff.
Clemens' ambitions obviously do not end with the Skeeters, and he would not be bothering with a comeback if he did not have his eyes on the majors.
Mark Berman of MyFoxHouston.com reports that Astros’ head scout Mike Elias has already watched Clemens work out.
If the 50-year-old has his way, his time in the minor leagues will be brief. A fine performance on Saturday night will certainly start the speculation that he is on his way back to the big time.
Jamie Moyer’s mark of being the oldest pitcher to win an MLB game may be in serious jeopardy.