Sunday, May 23, 2004

Fans want piece of the Rocket


By William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DOWNTOWN - Dayton native Roger Clemens pitched against the Reds in Cincinnati for the first time Saturday night, a historic event watched by a sellout crowd at Great American Ball Park.

The night was a chance to watch future Hall of Famer Clemens, who entered the game with a 7-0 record for the Houston Astros. But the Reds scored six runs off Clemens and won 8-7, tying Houston for first place in the National League Central division.

Derek Hall, 32, of Dayton, Ohio, brought his two 10-year old sons "to see Clemens pitch."

"I'm a Red Sox fan," Hall said. "I've always liked Clemens," who pitched for the Boston team for 13 of his 21 Major League seasons.

"Roger Clemens," 12-year-old Adam Loewer, of Huber Heights, said of his reason for attending the game.

"We had friends that invited us who wanted to see the pitcher," said 28-year-old Rebekah Alexander of Middletown, who was with her husband and 3-year-old son, Reid.

The sellout crowd was a boon for ticket sellers stationed along Third Street near the ballpark, who were selling $5 tickets for $20, and $10 tickets for $40.

"The best day of the year other than Opening Day," said one ticket seller, identifying himself only as "Spuds."

The teams play again today at 1:15 p.m.


7-0 Record this year

317 Career wins

616 Career starts

4,336 Career innings

4,169 Career strikeouts

6 Cy Young awards (1986,

1987, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001)

41 Years old

8 Sports Illustrated covers

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ONLINE EXTRA: Photos from Saturday's game
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