Another round of players will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, but Roger Clemens won’t be one of them. Again.
And while Clemens said making it to the Hall would matter to him, it’s not something the former Boston Red Sox pitcher loses sleep over at night.
“Congratulations to the guys that go,” Clemens said in an appearance on NESN during the third inning of the Red Sox’s Thursday night matchup with the Houston Astros. “It doesn’t really make a difference in my life, not that it wouldn’t matter.”
Clemens also reiterated his belief that he played the game the right way.
Clemens certainly has stats worthy of a Hall of Fame nod, but other factors are keeping him out of Cooperstown. He finished his career with 354 wins, a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts. He also won seven Cy Young Awards and one American League MVP.
However, the 11-time All-Star has been linked to multiple performance-enhancing drug allegations. As a result, he has never received higher than 37.6 percent of the vote for the Hall since he became eligible three years ago.
Clemens acknowledged those who are willing to vote for him, but still, an invitation to the Hall isn’t something he says he focused on as a player or now in retirement.
“There are guys who are voting for you, and I have to tell them that I appreciate it,” Clemens said. “It’s not something that I went to, to play — play the game to make the Hall of Fame. It was the furthest thing from my mind. I played the game because I loved to play it.
“I knew early in my career that once I seized that moment that I could make a little money and take care of my family. Then it started to get to a World Series and playoffs in Boston and the history that came along with it. That’s really it.”
Clemens is quite familiar with this year’s four inductees, including former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez. Clemens recalled how he always had to be at his best when pitching against Martinez.
“Pedro, I knew when I was facing him that I was going to have to be on the top of my game and that I couldn’t go out there and have a hiccup against him because he was going to be on top of his game,” Clemens said.
Unlike Martinez, Clemens still is waiting for his call to Cooperstown. But it’s not keeping him up at night in the meantime.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images