'Rocket' lands in lair of Dragons
Roger Clemens pays an impromptu visit to see his son's best friend play.
By Greg Billing
DAYTON — The estimated 8,830 spectators at Fifth Third Field were in the presence of greatness on Friday. They likely had no idea.
In a hushed and impromptu appearance, seven-time Cy Young award winner and Dayton native Roger Clemens and his son, Koby — who is best friends with Dayton Dragons player Jay Bruce — dropped in on Friday's game with Beloit.
The two were in the Dayton area getting a headstone for Roger's mother, the late Bess Clemens. Clemens' mother passed away in September 2005 and is buried in the Dayton area. On their way back to Lexington, Ky., — where Koby plays and Roger will have a warm-up stint before joining the Houston Astros — the two picked up a game on the radio. Thinking it was the University of Notre Dame's NCAA tournament game in Lexington, the pair listened since they have friends on the team.
They did have a friend playing, but wrong game.
"It just kind of happened. We were headed back to Lexington and there's a regional tournament there," Roger Clemens said. "We turned the radio on, heard a ball game and thought it was that. We heard something about the Dragons. Neither one of us knew (Fifth Third Field) was there. We heard, 'Now batting Jay Bruce.' Jay and Koby are best friends. We pulled off the freeway and said we have to be right here. We found the stadium and here we are."
Clemens is scheduled to pitch with Lexington after signing a contract to rejoin the Astros.
"I feel pretty good. I'm ready to get it on," Roger Clemens said. "Hopefully no setbacks, and I'll get up there and rejoin my teammates."
Koby Clemens also plays for Lexington. He's expected to return to the lineup Monday after being sidelined with a finger injury. Roger and Koby sat alone in the unoccupied visitor's radio booth taking in the action.
"It's beautiful. A great facility, a great facility," Roger Clemens said of the Dragons home. "This facility in Lexington is outstanding. (Today's players) have it pretty good. I kind of remind (Koby) all I can that I only had two showers and one urinal. I tease him. This is our future, so it's fun to see."
Koby Clemens and Bruce played summer ball together and against each other in high school.
"It just kind of clicked when I heard Jay was batting," Koby Clemens said.