- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The most decorated Cy Young Award winner in Major League Baseball history took the mound Wednesday night at Waldorf’s Regency Furniture Stadium — sort of.
Former big league superstar Roger Clemens threw out the first pitch for the Atlantic League All-Star game, which is hosted by the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ confines.
Clemens was present at the stadium Tuesday night for the kickoff to the All-Star festivities, addressing the crowd on stage for a few minutes while taking time to take countless photos with many of the VIP attendees, which included the All-Star players and coaches, and representatives from the eight teams within the league. He quickly became the center of attention.
The All-Star matchup within the independent minor league has the host Liberty Division, featuring the Blue Crabs with a league-best eight All-Stars, squaring off against the Freedom Division, which includes Clemens’ son Koby as the starting catcher, representing the Sugar Land Skeeters from the Houston, Texas, suburbs.
Sugar Land was the club Clemens briefly pitched for last August and September at the ancient-for-baseball age of 50 in a well-reported return to the game that followed his acquittal last June in Washington, D.C., of all felony charges of lying to Congress about using steroids.
In two starts with Sugar Land, Clemens pitched a combined eight innings with no runs allowed while yielding just three hits. He fanned three during both outings while walking no batters. Sugar Land won both games, though Clemens received no-decisions each time, lasting no longer than 4 2/3 innings in either start.
His son was the catcher for his second Sugar Land start last season, making for a special father-son moment as battery mates.
Throughout his 24 seasons in the majors, Clemens was considered the most dominating pitcher of his era and often hailed as arguably the best of all time, thanks to an overpowering arm that captured him a record seven Cy Young Awards and the ninth-most victories (354) and third-most strikeouts (4,672) in history while playing for four teams in the American and National leagues from 1984-2007.
He was nicknamed “The Rocket” during his career.