May 20, 1984. It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon and I was hanging out at Tanner’s Lake beach in Oakdale. I was listening to the Minnesota Twins game on the radio when I heard the announcers marveling over the 21-year old phenom the Boston Red Sox had pitching at the Metrodome that day.
In the 5-4 Red Sox victory, the youthful hurler picked up his first major league win.
Now, 23 years and 347 wins later, the man dubbed “The Rocket” will return for yet another season.
The seventh-inning stretch was ending when the low, familiar voice of public-address announcer Bob Sheppard told fans at Yankee Stadium to direct their attention to the owner's box behind home plate.
Standing there, microphone in hand, was Roger Clemens to personally announce his return to New York.
"Well, they came and got me out of Texas, and I can tell you it's a privilege to be back," he said. "I'll be talking to y'all soon."
I have to admit that I have been a fan of the Yankees (Sorry, Ben) since they won it all in 1996. That began a stretch of four World Series titles in five seasons. And they did it with class acts like Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. In 1999, Clemens joined the club and received his first Word Series ring! He would win another in 2000, further alienating the whiny Red Sox fans. That’s the biggest reason why I was thrilled to see Clemens finally get a ring.
But will The Rocket be enough to get the Yanks back to the proverbial Promised Land?
Only time will tell.