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CLEMENS K’s 17 IN THROWING SECOND CAREER NO-HITTER

For Immediate Release
June 2, 2004

Coconut Creek (AP) — Kody Clemens, all of 7, remained on the Coconut Creek mound after his brothers and daddy had left. He wanted to scoop up some more of the dirt from his father’s landmark night.
They will be forever intertwined, 2nd Career No-Hitter, and a 17-strikeout performance.   After 7 years as one of the Mid-West Baseball League’s greatest ever, Roger Clemens reached both marks in the same momentous game.
“To have these two milestones I was able to achieve tonight, it was really special,” the Rocket said Wednesday night after leading the Buffalo Braves over the Coconut Creek Crushers 5-0.   Clemens (4-3) was just the 2nd pitcher in Mid-West Baseball League history to throw a  2nd career No-Hitter (The other pitcher was Kevin Brown).   Clemens has now joined the 1,500-strikeout club is even more exclusive — he’s just the fourth member, joining Randy Johnson (1,810), Pedro J. Martinez (1,687), and Curt Schilling (1,641).  Clemens has 1,535 strikeouts on his career.

 

Career K Leaders

Pitcher 

No. 

1. Randy Johnson

1,810

2. Pedro J. Martinez

1,687 

3. Curt Schilling 

1,641 

4. Roger Clemens 

1,535 

5. Hideo Nomo

1,273 

6. Greg Maddux

1,223 

 

Two No-Hitters, and 1,500 K’s puts me with some great names that ever played the game, that ever stepped on that mound,” Clemens said.
Clemens allowed allowed only one walk, a leadoff one to Brian Roberts.  Clemens teammate Luis Castillo made a 4th inning error that allowed a batter to reach first base, and other than that, Clemens was perfect. He threw 120 pitches before his teammate mobbed him.
Clemens jogged off the field as Elton John’s “Rocket Man” played over the public-address system. He raised his right arm, tipped his cap to the fans in right field, then left, then touched his heart.  “I really wanted it to happen, after the sixth inning” Clemens said. That’s why I go out there,” said Clemens, who is as much a competitor as anyone on the ball field. He walked back to near the Buffalo dugout and Kody, his youngest son, jumped into his arms as his wife, Debbie, gave Clemens a hug.    His other three sons — Koby, Kory and Kacy — took their turns scooping up dirt from the mound and putting it in bags as keepsakes, followed by Kody, who went out to the mound all by himself.
After the game, the sons followed him through the Stadium corridors, like ducks trailing their parents. “That’s probably every player’s dream, to be out there with your son,” said the Braves’ Eniar Diaz, Clemens’ catcher for the evening.
As fans chanted Clemens’ name, Lance Nix and Freddy Sanchez two of the Coconut Creek Crushers remained in the Crushers dugout watching the celebration. “It’s amazing, the hard work, and the dedication he puts in,” Nix said.
Clemens Mom was not in in attendance, and Clemens got teary-eyed as he talked about her.  “Mom, I love you,” he said. After the game, he called her on the telephone. “She sounded great,” he said. “Probably pitching every pitch with me.”
Flashbulbs popped from Clemens’ first pitch, as Clemens was scheduled to start. Even though the game was played in a drizzle, the excitement was started in the very first inning after giving up the leadoff walk, he then struck out the next 3 batters, on nine straight pitches.  Once he got to 14 Strikeouts in the 6th inning his quest created a postseason feel for the game, the crowd was really getting into it, even though Clemens was pitching against the home town Crushers.
Clemens, The Mid-West Baseball Leagues only two-time World Series Most Valuable Player, reached the 1,500 Strikeout mark last week, but these sure reminded fans that “the Rocket” can still bring the gas.   The close to 40-year-old right-hander (132-56) is two wins ahead of Randy Johnson for 3rd all-time in Mid-West Baseball League History.   “I still have my fastball,” Clemens said. “I’m still a power pitcher, and I enjoy that. Tonight was fun”
Clemens started strongly, striking out six of his first eight batters.
But coming off a 3-day bout with bronchitis, Clemens labored noticeably in the fourth and seventh innings.   Before the seventh, pitching coach Doug Drabek told Clemens to just relax and enjoy it, and made a joke about maybe not having enough run support to win the game.

   Roger    Clemens
(4-3)  3.

The Braves had only scored two runs up to that point in the contest.  So it was still anyone’s ballgame.
“I would have cheered, too, if I had been sitting in the stands, said General Manager Wally Walczak, but being that was an away game, I was at home cutting the lawn, and doing my General manager duties by trying to figure out what old player I could still pick up cheap before the trade deadline”. “You can never question what Clemens does,” Walczak said. “He’s so important to why we win, I wish I would have been there.”
After the game, Clemens quickly shaved, then got a visit from the Coconut Creek General Manager Cliff Miller.  “He was almost choking me up the way he was talking,” Clemens said.
“I told him it was a honor to have a living legend pitch in our ballpark, and for him to dominate the Crushers the way he did, that I vowed we’d get better, and one day actually have a team of major leaguers to field against him” said the Crushers Miller.
Five Braves hitters each knocked in a single run, and the Braves (after the seventh) cruised to a easy 5-0 victory over the hapless Crushers from Coconut Creek.  But the story of the night was definitely “The Rocket”, who returned the year to the American League after six seasons in the National League with Tempe, Los Angeles, and Northridge.
Clemens looked pumped after throwing fastballs past helpless Crushers’ batters in the ninth. He struck out the last three batters, and then Braves catcher Eniar Diaz went out to the mound to shake Clemens’ hand, and hand “The Rocket” the game ball.  “I know he’s going to the Hall of Fame. I know my name’s going to be there with him when he mentions this No-Hitter,” said Diaz.
Asked which milestone was the best in his career, Clemens said the answer was easy.  “The two rings I look at every day,” he said a reference to the Series titles he helped the Tempe Tempers win in 1998 and 1999.
About 1 1/2 hours after the game, the Clemens’ family finally left the stadium with his sons leading the way. Rain was pouring down, but about 30 fans had waited him out, standing behind a barrier.  Clemens signed a few autographs and headed away for a quiet evening with his boys.

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