By almost any measure Roger Clemens is one of the best pitchers in baseball history. He is ninth all-time in wins (354), third in strikeouts (4,672), 12th in ERA+ (143), and third in WAR (139). His seven Cy Youngs are the most ever.
And yet Clemens has not been voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame because of ties to performance-enhancing drugs. He appeared on 59.5 percent of submitted ballots this year, his highest voting percentage ever,. Clemens has three more years on the Hall of Fame ballot to reach the 75 percent needed for induction.
Clemens was at his alma mater to participate in the University of Texas Alumni Game on Saturday afternoon. He wore a Red Sox jersey for the event, and considering it has been 12 years since he last pitched in an MLB game, Clemens looked pretty good:
Clemens was asked about his fading Hall of Fame chances prior to the UT Alumni Game and he largely dismissed the latest voting results. Here's what he told reporters, including KXAN Sports:
"I didn't play baseball to make the (Baseball) Hall of Fame. I played baseball, the first couple of years, to make a fantastic living ... and after that it was about winning championships," Clemens said.
"Really, the Hall of Fame, it's a self kind of deal, a beat your own chest type of deal. You don't get to have a career like I did, 24 years, without fantastic teammates, fantastic catchers back there paying attention to detail. I tell them thank you all the time ... that's what means the most to me," Clemens said.
Clemens said years ago that he hoped he would be able to honor his mother and thank her during his Hall of Fame speech. After his mother passed away in 2005, when he was still playing, Clemens said he hasn't spoken much publicly about his Hall of Fame chances. Surely he wants to get in. Every player does. At this point it seems unlikely barring a significant and sudden increase in support.