By Elsa Maxey
Roger Clemens, No. 21 with the Skeeters, took to the mound for the second time, but this time he was joined by his son Koby behind the plate on Friday in a game against the Long Island Ducks. It was a victory for the Skeeters, 4-0. The father and son duo, he at age 50 and his son, Koby, 25, both set the stage for more excitement following the Rocket’s local landing here the other day.
With the question continuing to linger, the elder Clemens said, “I think it would be fun for a lot of people, but it would take a lot of work to do and to perform the way I would want to perform.” That’s what he told media reporters including the “Star” last Thursday in a press conference on the Constellation Field alongside his son, Koby when asked about plans to pitch again for the Astros. “My mind says yes. My body says no.” But the moment was not so much about him this go round. The headlines this week would be about him and his son, the eldest of four. They all play ball, by the way.
Clemens and Koby were reportedly teammates in 2006, when Koby was 19 and the elder Clemens was making his comeback with the Astros. Last week came the announcement about the Toronto Blue Jays having released Koby to be with his father, and it reignited the excitement about the Skeeters with the prospect of the two being together again. Koby recently completed his eighth professional season, his first in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, according to reports.
“I’m glad he’s here,” said Clemens about Koby. “This is going to be fun not only for my family, but everybody in the local area for this team.” And that it was. Clemens, who was beaming about the moment shared with his son said, “He’s a pro at what he does and we’re going to have some fun with it.”
This past Friday in the sold old game, Koby caught during the entire game. Clemens’ performance: “He held the Long Island Ducks to two hits and no runs in 4-2/3 innings,” describes a ball aficionado in the game’s lingo. There was also the hug on the mound.
After what was termed retiring the first two batters on the fifth, his son walked over to his dad. Clemens hugged Koby, did fist bumps with the other players and then walked away acknowledging the Long Island Ducks with a kind of salute and then he waved to the cheering crowd.
At the press conference following the game, one got the impression that there are no plans for Clemens to pitch again as a Skeeter this year, supported by his statements the day before. But, it also appears that Clemens has no plans to retire with altogether.
“I talked to Koby about staying on and playing if he wanted to,” said Clemens. “But he’s had a solid season, a long season. There have been some guys working hard here to try to get back to a minor league or major league situation, so Koby’s going to play Friday night and step aside and let somebody have their job back.”
“Friday evening, Skeeter fans saw more than a sporting event. They witnessed sports history,” a sentiment heard over the weekend. Yes, it was a lifetime moment that will be tough to beat. In the meantime, there remains a possible Hall of Fame induction for Roger Clemens and for Koby, an aim at a major league career continues.