Former stars Roger Clemens, Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez and radio play-by-play voice Joe Castiglione were selected to be inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, the team announced Wednesday.
Clemens sticks out as the most contentious choice, his Hall of Fame-worthy statistics having been called into question amid allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.
In 13 seasons with the Red Sox, Clemens was a five-time All-Star, racking up three Cy Young Awards, two 20-strikeout games and an American League MVP in 1986 after leading Boston to the World Series. He holds a number of club records, including career wins (tied at 192), shutouts (38) and strikeouts (2,590).
Clemens left the Red Sox after the 1996 season, signing with the Toronto Blue Jays and reeling off back-to-back Cy Young seasons before being traded to the New York Yankees. He won another Cy Young and two World Series in five seasons in New York. In total, he pitched 24 seasons and finished with 354 wins and seven Cy Youngs.
In 2007, Clemens was named in the Mitchell Report as having allegedly used anabolic steroids in the latter part of his career, an allegation he denied in front of Congress in 2008. He later was charged with perjury for those denials as evidence of his PED use mounted, but he was found not guilty in a trial.
Clemens has received a mixed reception from Red Sox fans in several appearances at Fenway Park since those allegations, but he was cheered during an appearance in September 2012 at the team's ceremony honoring its All-Fenway team.
"I've never lost my love for this town," he said at the time.
Clemens will enter the Red Sox Hall of Fame with another fireballer in Martinez, who was a two-time Cy Young Award winner and a four-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Red Sox (1998-2004). Perhaps no pitcher in team history created as electric an atmosphere at Fenway as Martinez.
After posting a 2.89 ERA in his first season in Boston, Martinez had an 82-21 record and a combined 2.10 ERA over the next five seasons, one of the most dominant stretches in baseball history.
Martinez is the club's all-time leader in win percentage at .760 (117-37) and had 1,683 strikeouts in 1,383 2/3 innings while with Boston.
He memorably struck out five of the six batters he faced in the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park and was a big part of the 2004 team that erased an 86-year championship drought in Boston. His 17-strikeout, one-hit game against the Yankees in 1999 will be recognized by the Red Sox Hall as a "Great Red Sox Moment" this summer.
Martinez is currently a Red Sox special assistant.
Garciaparra broke onto the scene as one of the best shortstops in the game in 1997, when he won AL Rookie of the Year honors with a 30-homer, 98-RBI season. He was an All-Star in five of his nine seasons in Boston (1996-2004) and was a runner-up for AL MVP in 1998 after hitting .323 with 35 homers and 122 RBIs. He has the fourth-best career batting average (.323) and fifth-best slugging percentage (.553) in team history.
"What a class to be inducted with, with Pedro and Roger," Garciaparra told Boston sports radio station WEEI. "It's definitely special."
Castiglione has been the team's radio play-by-play announcer for 31 seasons, second in longevity to only broadcaster Ned Martin. His tenure includes the entire careers of the three other inductees and all three of the team's championships since 2004.
His signature call of the final out of the 2004 World Series is part of Red Sox lore: "Can you believe it?"
"It certainly is a 'Can you believe it?' moment for me. ... It's such a thrill to be going in with Nomar, who's the best all-around player I've covered in 31 years of Red Sox baseball, [and] the two greatest pitchers in franchise history," Castiglione told WEEI.
"And as far as Roger goes, I think a tip-off to how much the Red Sox mean to him, I was about to get on a duck boat Nov. 2 and I got a text from Roger saying, 'Congratulations to you and all of the Red Sox on the world championship -- 21.' So it was very meaningful to him."
The players were chosen for the Red Sox Hall of Fame by a 16-person panel consisting of team executives, media members, booster club reps and historians.
The foursome will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall sometime in August.