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Friday, September 27, 2013
Astros honor Pettitte with his old No. 21

By Andrew Marchand

HOUSTON -- During the middle of the fifth inning on Friday, Astros president Reid Ryan presented Andy Pettitte a framed No. 21 jersey, which he wore during the Astros run to the World Series in 2005. Both the Yankees and the Astros left their dugouts and joined the crowd in giving Pettitte a standing ovation.

Pettitte wore No. 21 in honor of his then good friend, Roger Clemens.

On Saturday, there will be a lot of familiar faces for Pettitte's final start of his career. He said he plans to leave around 50 tickets for friends and family. There is an unspecified number of other friends who will pay their own way into Minute Maid, he said.

"It's pretty cool," said Pettitte, who grew up 20 minutes away in Deer Park.

But one familiar face that will also be on hand this weekend is Clemens. Clemens is expected on Sunday to present Mariano Rivera with his final gifts. At one point, Clemens was like Pettitte's big brother until they were separated by how they handled the steroid accusations in the Mitchell Report.

In listing the players that have influenced him over his career, Pettitte mentioned pitchers like Jimmy Key and Kenny Rogers before saying, "When Roger came over, obviously he made a huge impact on my career."

The two used to be very close, but their friendship dissolved when Pettitte said Clemens informed him he had in fact taken performance drugs. They have not spoken since.

"It's going to be great to see him," Pettitte said.

In the meantime, who will be opposing Pettitte on Saturday -- Paul Clemens.