20 K's: 4/29/1986

HriniakPosterChild

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Jul 6, 2006
12,689
500 feet above Lake Sammammish
Before the PED's, before the pinstripes, before he threw the bat handle at Piazza, before he became the TCM, before the first affair with a teenager, there was a magic night at Fenway Park that first turned my attention to the local ball club. I remember the front page Boston Globe store the next morning and realizing that baseball wasn’t a game played by “old people,” because this young man my age was rewriting the MLB record book. I started to pay attention to baseball because of that game.

The Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone writes of that night 34 years ago: Ex-Mariners relive night they were on wrong side of history, 34 years after Roger Clemens’ 20-strikeout game

Gorman Thomas, the Mariners’ designated hitter, told reporters afterward, “There were some guys going up to the plate that night that were literally shaking in their boots. … It was almost like a cartoon, where you see guys swing and the ball goes through their bat. It’s never going to happen again, I guarantee it. No way. It’s going to stand for the rest of major-league history.”
***
Which brings to mind one take-away from the game: It’s highly unlikely that in today’s baseball, Clemens would have been allowed to rack up a pitch count of 138 (97 strikes) so soon after surgery to repair rotator-cuff damage in his shoulder.
Highly unlikely for a pitcher in midseason form. For a pitcher in April coming off surgery, it would be managerial malpractice.
 

SuperManny

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Jul 20, 2005
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I don't have anything to add about the game since I was too young at the time but my father had this picture from the game which now hangs in my basement.

IMG_20200429_222509 (1).jpg
 

GoJeff!

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May 30, 2007
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Before the PED's, before the pinstripes, before he threw the bat handle at Piazza, before he became the TCM, before the first affair with a teenager, there was a magic night at Fenway Park that first turned my attention to the local ball club. I remember the front page Boston Globe store the next morning and realizing that baseball wasn’t a game played by “old people,” because this young man my age was rewriting the MLB record book. I started to pay attention to baseball because of that game.

The Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone writes of that night 34 years ago: Ex-Mariners relive night they were on wrong side of history, 34 years after Roger Clemens’ 20-strikeout game



Highly unlikely for a pitcher in midseason form. For a pitcher in April coming off surgery, it would be managerial malpractice.
I also got into baseball because of that game. I followed it a little in 77 and 78, mostly through baseball cards, but didn’t pay much attention after that.

I was a big Celtics fan in the mid 80s and remember reading the Globe preview of the 1986 Red Sox, including Roger “ouch” Clemens.

Then that game happened, and I was hooked. You could tell that team was special.
 

sonsoftrotnixon

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Jul 13, 2005
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Western NY
Clemens was the first pitcher I saw that made me literally root for the offense to get their 3 outs and let Roger get back on the mound. Only two players have had that effect on me. Him, and Pedro.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
9,958
I remember that game not because I saw it, but because reading about it was one of those "do you remember where you were when xyz happened" moments.

I was attending university in upstate NY. While our place did have NESN, it was not often tuned into a Red Sox game in April. And for good reason. Usually by the time the spring semester ended, the Sox were essentially out of the race. In 1984 the Tigers ran out to a 35-5 start while the Sox foundered. In 1985 they were 10 behind the Blue Jays. There was what would eventually turn out to be an interesting dynamic in that a lot of people in the Albany area would follow both the Sox and the Mets. One could easily do that without any conflict of interest, and the Mets had won 98 games the previous season. I personally didn't care, other than the fact that at the time Mets fans were far less obnoxious than Yankee fans.

The only good news about being a Boston fan in NY state at the time was the Boston Celtics, who had just come off a 67 win season. I did catch some of the game against the Hawks, but that game and series was a forgone conclusion, and I ceded the TV to others and made it an early evening.

Got up the next morning and someone had left the sports page of the local paper (Albany Times Union) opened up to the baseball box scores. I took a look at the box, saw the Sox won, and then saw that Roger Clemens had struck out 20. I was like, wow, I wonder if that's a misprint. And then I thought, I wonder what the record is. Then I turned over to the front page of the sports section and there was the full article detailing Clemens record setting evening.

The summer was a lot of fun. The following fall, back in upstate NY, was an experience best left to the dustbin of history.
 

SocrManiac

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Apr 15, 2006
3,233
Somers, CT
I was only four for this, but my dad woke me up to watch the end. I was all Roger Clemens, all the time after that. I didn't even want to bat in t-ball, just pitch.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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Highly unlikely for a pitcher in midseason form. For a pitcher in April coming off surgery, it would be managerial malpractice.
It would be.

Of course, maybe we can discuss if it should be since it clearly didn't cause him any issues.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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I remember that game not because I saw it, but because reading about it was one of those "do you remember where you were when xyz happened" moments.
Same for me, this is one of those "where were you when you heard Elvis died?". (turned it on mid game at my girlfriend's house in Newton)

And his second 20K game as well. (getting off a plane in LV for my bachelor party)
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Dec 28, 2000
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I had the original Globe box score on my office cork board for years, before it got lost in a move somewhere.

Never have I grown to hate an athlete I had loved as much as Roger Clemens. Probably more my fault than his.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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I don't have anything to add about the game since I was too young at the time but my father had this picture from the game which now hangs in my basement.

View attachment 30602
I still have the copy of Sports Illustrated that had this picture on the cover. I also have a copy of the game on a VHS tape somewhere. Too bad I haven't had a VHS player in a decade or more!
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
12,024
Maine
It's probably a Mandela effect thing, but I have a memory of watching this game live. It is improbable that I actually did given that it was a Tuesday night game in April and I was a week shy of my 7th birthday. I'm sure I had school the next day, and probably a bed time before the first pitch was thrown.

Even if I didn't actually see it live, I've seen enough replays of it and I read the inning by inning recap in Clemens' autobiography enough times that I practically have the game memorized. Regardless, that was the season I became a Red Sox fan and Clemens played a big role in that.