Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens – No. 17
Based on longevity and career accomplishments, a case could be made that Roger Clemens is the best pitcher in baseball history. The 11-time All-Star won a record seven Cy Young awards, seven ERA titles, two pitching Triple Crowns and an MVP. The Rocket racked up 354 wins and 4672 strikeouts over 24 seasons.
Of course, that longevity was aided by the use of performance-enhancing drugs which tarnished his reputation and prevented him from being elected into the Hall of Fame in his final year of eligibility.
Clemens was on a Hall of Fame track during his 13 season with the Red Sox, before any speculation about PEDs clouded his career. His 192 wins tied Cy Young for the most in franchise history and he recorded more strikeouts than any pitcher in Red Sox history.
Boston allowed Clemens to slip away in free agency when they believed he was in the “twilight” of his career. He immediately bounced back with consecutive Cy Young seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, which is when PED alarms should have began ringing.
Our former hero became the enemy when Clemens put on pinstripes. He won two World Series titles and another Cy Young with the Yankees.
The last act of his career included a dominant three-year run with the Houston Astros. He picked up another Cy Young and helped Houston reach the World series. His career ended in 2007 with a brief reunion with the Yankees at the age of 44.
Clemens may always be one of the poster children for the PED era but he should have made the Hall of Fame based on his clean years with the Red Sox.