Roger Clemens first came onto the scene when he helped his University of Texas teammates win the 1983 NCAA World Series championship; three years later, at just 23 years of age, Clemens won both the Cy Young and the MVP of the American League, posting a 24-4 record with a 2.48 ERA and 238 strikeouts as Boston came within one out of a World Series title. His most memorable moment that season came in late April, when he set a major league record by striking out 20 batters in one game. He provided another highlight at mid-season, winning the All-Star MVP award as the American League’s starting pitcher by shutting out the National League squad over three innings of work.
One year later, Clemens won his second Cy Young and then a third four years later in 1991. As Boston’s number one starter, he averaged nearly 20 wins and 239 strikeouts between 1986 and 1992 and brought the Red Sox to the playoffs twice more in 1988 and 1990. Clemens continued to provide steady leadership in the pitching rotation through the mid-1990s, winning 40 games between 1993 and 1996 while playing for poor teams with shaky bullpens. Boston returned to the playoffs as winners of the American League East in 1995, with Clemens going 10-5 in a strike-shortened season, but Cleveland swept the Red Sox in the opening round.
In the final year with the Red Sox, Clemens would finish just 10-13 but match his earlier feat ten years earlier by striking out 20 batters in Detroit in September of 1996.