Twenty-five years ago, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons stepped on the field for the first time. In honor of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise’s 25th year anniversary, The Times Leader is counting down the Top 25 memorable moments in its history every week until the end of the season. All three teams — Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders — are represented on the list as put together by the staff of The Times Leader. There’s sure to be some debate here as well, which makes it that much more fun.
Roger Clemens made one of the more dramatic entrances in New York Yankees’ history in 2007 when he was unexpectedly attending a game in the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium and then proclaimed that he would be joining New York’s roster later in the season.
On his journey back to the Bronx, The Rocket made a landing at PNC Field on May 28. Clemens, who was 44 at the time, was the oldest player in the history of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise, surpassing Larry Andersen who was 41 in 1994.
But age is just a number and The Rocket showed there was still fuel in his tank as he electrified the 11,310 fans at the Moosic ballpark, allowing just two hits over six shutout innings of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees’ 2-0 Memorial Day win over Toledo.
The outing was Clemens’ final of three minor league appearances in the month before heading to New York. He also made news during his postgame news conference when a reporter asked a question about negative things circulating about his comeback.
Clemens emphatically said the following before pounding his fist on the table and ending the presser.
“If you want to be negative, be negative,” Clemens began. “I’m not a negative person. When I stink, I don’t need you to tell me that. I have pride in what I do. I’m going to pull my heart out and set it right there for you to see it when I perform. I’ve done that since I was 20. I got that from my mother.
“Everything has to be negative these days. I answer the questions as honestly as I can so that some 10-year-old out there, when he reads about it, won’t assume things. You can tell how passionate I am about it. OK?”
The 2007 campaign was the final of Clemens’ storied career. He went 6-6 with the Yankees with a 4.18 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 99 innings, while earning a pro-rated $28 million salary.