January 2, 2013
Cooperstown 2013: Roger Clemens
First Year on Ballot
Boston Red Sox (1984-1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1998), New York Yankees (1999-2003), Houston Astros (2004-2006) and New York Yankees (2007)
Career record of 354-184 (.658 winning percentage) with an ERA of 3.12 and 4672 strikeouts. Ranks ninth all-time in wins and third all-time in strikeouts behind only Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. Six 20-win seasons, led the league in ERA seven times and in strikeouts five times. Record seven-time Cy Young Award winner (1986-1987, 1991, 1997-1998, 2001 and 2004) and 1986 American League MVP. Two-time World Series champion (1999 and 2000) and eleven-time All-Star selection. Member of Major League Baseball's All-Century Team. Only pitcher to strike out 20 batters in a game twice.
Roger Clemens is one of the ten best pitchers of all-time. You can argue where he is on the list, but he’s there alongside Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson or Greg Maddux. Simply stated, “The Rocket” belongs in the Hall of Fame. There is no case against Clemens being a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher. Yet, he's still a long shot to be elected this year because of three dirty words: performance enhancing drugs.
Accusations of PED usage have tainted his career and with it, the game of baseball. Or so the naysayers say. There's plenty of circumstantial evidence, but Clemens has consistently denied ever using and was acquitted on charges of lying to Congress about PED use. Whether you think he took PED's or not, he's one of the best pitchers ever and belongs in the Hall. His penance for (allegedly) using PEDs and being an insufferable ass will be that he has to wait at least a few years to get in.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Kaleida has been writing about the Pittsburgh Pirates and MLB trades over at 6-4-3 Putout since June 2010. Since 1998 he's traveled to Bradenton each year for spring training and finds that to be an excellent way to kick off the season. You can follow him on Twitter at @643putout.