Controversial MLB Legend Breaks Silence on Hall of Fame Snub


Another Baseball Hall of Fame vote came and went, and once again, the player with the most Cy Young Awards in history was snubbed.

Roger Clemens received 59.5 percent of the votes. That was the highest percentage he’s gotten in his seven years on the ballot, according to CBS Sports, but still far shy of the 75 percent needed for induction.

Clemens, though, isn’t losing any sleep over yet another snub, as he revealed during the University of Texas alumni game on Saturday.

“I didn’t play baseball to make the Hall of Fame,” Clemens told KXAN. “I played baseball … my first couple of years, to make a fantastic living for my family … and after that it was about winning championships.”

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There have been over 19,000 players in MLB history, but just 232 of them have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Even thought it’s arguably the most exclusive club in the game, Clemens dismissed getting into the Hall of Fame as a sort of self-aggrandizing accomplishment.

“Really, the Hall of Fame … it’s a self kind of deal, beat your own chest type of deal,” Clemens said. “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 when I see them, he added. “I still get great letters and texts from all those guys. So that’s what means the most to me.”

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Clemens’ voting percentage for the Hall of Fame has increased each year since 2015. It’s gone up by 14 percent over the last three years, but he’ll need another 15.5 percent increase over the next three years before he’s taken off the ballot.

Based on stats alone, Clemens would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and possibly even a unanimous selection. He ranks third all time in career strikeouts and pitcher wins above replacement, and ninth in wins.

But due to his alleged ties to performance-enhancing drugs, Clemens is still being left off many voters’ ballots.

Likewise, the “batter version” of Clemens, Barry Bonds, had a similar voting percentage at 59.1 percent in his seventh year on the ballot.

Even at 56 years old, Clemens was able to still show why fans used to call him “the Rocket” when he took the mound during the alumni game.

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Clemens last pitched in the majors in 2007, but he’s made a couple of pitching appearances since then, throwing for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 2012 at the age of 50.

He pitched eight scoreless innings over two games and was clocked as high as 88 miles per hour. Still, no MLB teams made offers for him to join the big leagues.

Roger Clemens wasn’t the only Clemens on hand for the game on Saturday. Two of his sons who also played for Texas were part of the alumni squad as well.

The active Texas baseball team defeated the alumni 7-4.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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