ROGER CLEMENS TO APPEAR IN 2019 ABBOT FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OLDTIME BASEBALL GAME TO BE HELD THURSDAY, AUGUST 22ND
CAMBRIDGE’S SUMMERTIME CELEBRATION OF BASEBALL TO BENEFIT COMPASSIONATE CARE ALS
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Roger Clemens, who won 354 games and registered 4,672 strikeouts during his brilliant 24-season major-league career, will come out of retirement on Thursday, August 22nd to appear in the 26th annual Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game at St. Peter’s Field on Sherman Street in North Cambridge.
Pre-game ceremonies begin at 7 p.m.
This year’s game is being played as a fundraiser for Compassionate Care ALS in memory of longtime Fenway Park supervisor John Welch, who died last December after an inspiring fight against ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Welch’s son, Johnny Welch, who played baseball at St. Anselm College followed by seven seasons of independent minor-league ball, will play in this year’s game and will be one of the batters facing Clemens.
Roger Clemens was the Red Sox’ first pick in the 1983 amateur draft (the 19th overall selection) following a stellar career at the University of Texas. He won 192 games with the Red Sox, tying him with Cy Young for the most victories in franchise history. He made history by registering two 20-strikeout games during his Red Sox years, one against the Seattle Mariners in 1986, the other against the Detroit Tigers in 1996.
Clemens, who later played for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros, continues to make frequent trips back to Boston to participate in a variety of charity projects. He joins a growing list of former Red Sox players who have participated in the Oldtime Baseball Game over the years, including Pedro Martinez, Tim Wakefield, Jim Lonborg, Oil Can Boyd, Jim Corsi, and Lou Merloni.
The Oldtime Baseball Game is a celebration of our national pastime. From its humble beginnings in 1994, the game has grown considerably over the years yet remains loyal to its mission of offering a glimpse of what it was like in the old days, when hundreds of fans would turn out to root for their “town” team in various local semipro leagues.
Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS) is a non-profit organization that supports individuals diagnosed with ALS as they navigate the complexities, both physical and emotional, associated with the disease. CCALS offers a broad and holistic range of services tailored to meet the needs of ALS families. Beyond logistical support, CCALS provides heart-centered listening and the voice of compassion as families grapple with difficult choices.
This year will mark the third time the Oldtime Baseball Game has been played with a specific ALS patient in mind. In 2013 the game was played in honor of former Boston College baseball captain Pete Frates, and in 2017 it was played in honor of longtime NESN videographer John Martin, who died in 2018.
What makes the Oldtime Baseball Game so special is its dazzling collection of flannel uniforms from virtually every era in baseball history. Used just once a year for the Oldtime Baseball Game, the colorful uniforms represent such long-ago teams as the Boston Braves, St. Louis Browns, Homestead Grays and Kansas City Monarchs.
Although the Oldtime Baseball Game includes amateur players from schools throughout the Boston area and beyond, more than 40 past participants have gone on to play professionally. On August 31, 2018, Chris Shaw of Lexington High School and Boston College became the fourth former Oldtime Baseball Game participant to play in the big leagues when he debuted with the San Francisco Giants. Shaw, who played in the Oldtime Baseball Game in 2013 and ’14, joins Carlos Pena, Chris Lambert and Nate Freiman as former participants who made The Show.
Admission to the Oldtime Baseball Game is free. Fans are asked to bring a beach blanket or chair and camp out along the foul lines, as it is the crowd that makes the game so electric. Spectators who park at the Fresh Pond Shopping Center can walk through the Danehy Park Athletic Complex to St. Peter’s Field in about 10 minutes.
The rain date for the Oldtime Baseball Game is Friday, August 23rd, also at 7 p.m.