Monday, April 16, 2012

Important Games in Fenway History: April 29, 1986

Imposing. That’s the first word I think of when I see Roger Clemens’ iconic 95-mph fastball pitch. From 1984 through 1996, Fenway Park was home to the legendary pitcher but it wasn’t until his second year with the Red Sox that Clemens cemented himself as one of the best players the team had ever seen.

1986 was a landmark year for the Red Sox and Roger Clemens. Not only was ’86 the year that Clemens won the MVP and Cy Young awards for the season, but he helped lead the team into the World Series against the Mets. While the less said about that game the better, the Red Sox made history that season with a record-breaking game against the Seattle Mariners in April.  

Despite rumors of shoulder troubles pre-season, Clemens single-handedly struck out 20 players in just one nine inning game. Clemens broke the record of his childhood hero Nolan Ryan, the strikeout king of the 60’s and 70’s, whose record peaked at 19 strikeouts. A decade later, Clemens would repeat his 20-player strikeout streak against the Tigers. But after proving he was still at the top of his game, Clemens signed to the Blue Jays less than two months later. Despite spending years playing with other teams, fans rest easy knowing that Clemens’ record-breaking strikeouts still belong to the Red Sox and Fenway Park.

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