The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality

By Jeff Pearlman

A fearless, hard-nosed Texan with a 98-mph fastball and a propensity to throw on the heads of opposing hitters, Roger “the Rocket” Clemens gained 354 video games, an unparalleled seven Cy younger Awards, and global sequence trophies over the process twenty-four seasons. however the statistics and hoopla obscured a much darker story—one of playoff chokes, womanizing (including a long term affair with a teenage state singer), violent explosions, steroid and human development hormone use...and an extremely darkish mystery that Clemens spent an entire life attempting to disguise: a family members tragedy concerning medications and, finally, loss of life.

In The Rocket That Fell to Earth, New York Times bestselling writer Jeff Pearlman reconstructs the pitcher's life—from his Ohio formative years to the mounds of Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium—to demonstrate a incorrect and stricken guy whose rage for baseball immortality took him to superhuman heights ahead of he crashed all the way down to earth.

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Clemens, after all, didn’t provide a rattling. relationship again to boyhood, he hardly ever spotted the attendance or heard the shouts or cared that so-and-so big name in so-and-so row was once within the development. No, he used to be all in regards to the second, approximately build up animosity towards the opposing hitter. along with his scheduled commence in Kansas urban days prior having been rained out, Clemens was once engaged on six days of leisure. He had woken up that morning with a serious headache, and not anything felt really correct all day. On his force to the ballpark, he were caught in a traffic congestion on Storrow force, nonetheless and a part miles from Fenway simply forty five mins prior to the sport used to be imagined to commence.

In its place, Duquette was once turning the pink Sox right into a beer-softball-league group, signing robot, motionless boppers like Kevin Mitchell and Jose Canseco to patrol the outfield corners. “Roger was once very frustrated,” says Reggie Jefferson, an outfielder–first baseman. “A lot of starters on our staff stopped exhibiting up on time for batting perform, and our protection was once poor, and Roger questioned what on the earth used to be happening. ” If any pink Sox fan nonetheless believed in his ace’s greatness, he without doubt got here clear of the 1996 season disappointed.

I’ll always remember that. ” towards the tail finish of 1993, Dan Shaughnessy, the hard-nosed Globe columnist, was once devastated while his seven-year-old daughter, Kate, was once clinically determined with leukemia. Shaughnessy had earned a lot of his wage ripping Clemens through the years, and the pitcher-writer courting used to be a frosty one. approximately weeks after Kate’s analysis, in spite of the fact that, a major package deal arrived on the entrance door of Shaughnessy’s Boston domestic. The go back handle stated, easily, R. CLEMENS, KATY, TEXAS. “Even the UPS man used to be curious what was once in there,” says Shaughnessy.

Hell, at that time we knew we’d won,” he says. “We have been within their heads. ” For the Longhorns, the aim was once a faculty global sequence title—period. at the first day of perform, Clemens arrived donning a white cutoff T-shirt that learn imagine OMAHA. He proceeded to unharness a sequence of batting perform fastballs—harder and more durable and harder—that set the tone for the season. “The first time up opposed to Roger that preliminary day, I hit a line force off of him that knocked him off the mound,” says Robert Gauntt, a freshman first baseman.

Big apple misplaced, 5-3. The Yankees dropped the subsequent contest in addition and survived online game 3 in Oakland thank you purely to Derek Jeter, who stored the season with a dazzling turn to domestic plate to nail Jeremy Giambi. whilst the Yankees gained video game 4 in the back of Bernie Williams’ 5 RBIs, it was once again to manhattan for online game five—and again to Clemens. along with his hamstring throbbing, Clemens back took the american Stadium mound and back stared down Oakland’s vaunted lineup. He surrendered 5 hits and 3 runs in 4 and a 3rd innings.

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