22.04.2022 - William Roger Clemens is one of the greatest and most powerful pitchers in baseball history. Baseball card collectors cherish his 1985 Topps rookie card. His nickname “Rocket” justifies the fierce hard-throwing pitching and competitive nature that intimidated the batters. However, even with such a phenomenal record, to date, Clemens isn’t part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.William Roger Clemens is one of the greatest and most powerful pitchers in baseball history. Baseball card collectors cherish his 1985 Topps rookie card. His nickname “Rocket” justifies the fierce hard-throwing pitching and competitive nature that intimidated the batters. However, even with such a phenomenal record, to date, Clemens isn’t part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Roger Clemens was suspected of using drugs during his gameplay. He came out clean from the case, but all in vain. Just because of an alleged PEDs case, his chances of getting inducted into the hall of fame are over. Is that justified? Should such controversies ruin his career accomplishments? Let us find out!
Glimpse of Roger Clemens Baseball Career
During his collegiate career, Clemens pitched 35 consecutive scoreless innings at Texas. It is NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) record that broke after many decades.
Boston Red Sox
In the 1983 MLB draft, Roger Clemens got selected in the first round. He quickly rose to fame and started his Major League Baseball career with a minimal Minor League Baseball era. During his era with Boston Red Sox, Clemens became the first pitcher to strike out 20 batters within a nine-inning game. It was a record in MLB history.
Toronto Blue Jays
When Boston Red Sox did not re-sign Clemens, he joined Toronto Blue Jays with a $40 million deal. Throughout his time in Toronto Blue Jays, Roger Clemens remained incredible at pitching. Batters did everything to make runs but the majority of them failed.
New York Yankees
Even though Roger Clemens signed with Toronto Blue Jays for four years, he asked to get traded after a year. He started with New York Yankees, and with him, his team marked their win of the World Series title for two years straight. In 2001, in MLB history, Clemens became the first pitcher to start a baseball season 20 – 1.
Even though Clemens announced his retirement while being in New York Yankees. He came out of retirement to sign one year contract with Houston Astros. With Astros, Clemens got himself placed on the second number in the all-time list, right behind Nolan Ryan.
Clemens re-signed a year deal with the Houston Astros for a record amount of $18 million. It was the highest for any pitcher in MLB history. He earned the Pitcher of Record award for his brilliance throughout the season. He re-signed for the third year for $22 million but received $12.25 million for not playing a full season.
Return to New York Yankees
Even though Roger Clemens announced his retirement while playing for the Yankees, he played for three years with the Astros. Later he signed one year deal with the Yankees for $4.7 million per month. He became the oldest pitcher with the Yankees and played a phenomenal game.
Awards and Accolades
Throughout his career, Roger Clemens received several awards and accolades, recognizing his talent and passion for the game. He was part of the All-Star eleven times. Clemens received Cy Young Award seven times, became World Series Champion twice, and became ERA Leader seven times.
Clemens is part of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame as well. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for Pawtucket Red Sox.
Roger Clemens got his 1,000th strikeout when playing for New York Yankees. In Major League Baseball history, Clemens was the ninth player to record more than 1,000 strikeouts while being associated with two different teams.
Controversial Steroid Accusation
The world of Roger Clemens took a sharp turn when Jason Grimsley; a former player of the New York Yankees was found with PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs). He accused Brian McNamee as a supplier of human growth hormone, amphetamines, and anabolic steroids. McNamee was a personal strength trainer for Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.
At that time, Brian McNamee denied every allegation. He also denied knowledge of Clemens and Pettitte’s involvement with PEDs. However, in the Mitchell Report, presented by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, Clemens was on PEDs. In the report, Brian McNamee claimed that he injected the player with anabolic steroids in the 1998, 2000, and 2001 baseball seasons.
Attorney of Roger Clemens denied all the allegations and stated that Brian McNamee cannot be trusted as he changed his story five times to avoid criminal prosecution. Clemens under oath denied all the steroid usage accusations. However, when Andy Pettitte appeared under the oath, he claimed that McNamee did inject Clemens with human growth hormones.
In 2010, Roger Clemens was indicted on six different felony cases. After thorough proceedings, Clemens was marked not guilty. He won the case and was acquitted of the steroid accusations. However, the damage was done!
Roger Clemens was asked to end his involvement with the Giff Nielsen Day of Golf for Kids charity tournament. Later, his name got removed from Roger Clemens Institute for Sports Medicine. He even lost every chance of getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Baseball Hall of Fame
In 2013, Roger Clemens became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, he received 37.6% votes only instead of the required 75%. He kept receiving low votes and finally in 2021 he received 61.6%. The 2021 attempt was his final chance of getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Now, the only chance lies with the Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Committee. The committee considers retired baseball players who lost the chance with ballot eligibility. Roger Clemens requires 12 votes out of the 16-member committee.
Should Roger Clemens Be in The Hall of Fame?
Despite everything, Roger Clemens still has a chance with the Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Committee. But does he deserve it?
Many fans link Roger Clemens with Barry Bonds. However, Bonds did agree on unknowingly using PEDs. But Clemens came out clean and marked not guilty. Therefore, he does deserve to be part of the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is wrong to punish someone over something they never did. The court has acquitted the case already!
Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80's and because of his love for collecting he started the website https://sportscardsauthority.com. His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.