Roger Clemens and other former MLB players have formed the Kansas Stars and are set to take on college players in the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kansas.
Roger Clemens got a text message, and next thing you know he’s headed to Kansas to play baseball once again.
Adam LaRoche (who famously retired from the Chicago White Sox before this season to spend more time with his kids) and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Nate Robinson couldn’t resist the chance to play again. So they organized the Kansas Stars and will play in the National Baseball Congress World Series beginning July 29. The Stars will make their initial appearance on August 6, two days after Clemens’ 54th birthday. LaRoche and Robertson are native Kansans, and the Kansas Star casino will financially back the team.
It’s unclear if Koby Clemens, Roger’s son and the only player on the Stars roster without MLB experience, will keep his spot after it was announced Tuesday morning Chipper Jones has joined the team.
Others on the roster include J.D. Drew, Dan Uggla, Jack Wilson, Koyie Hill, Ryan Kohlmeier, Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Roy Oswalt, Josh Beckett, Brad Penny, Jason Isringhausen, Brandon Inge, Rick Ankiel, Adam Everett, Laynce Nix, Jayson Nix, Brett Tomko, Pete Orr, Ryan Langerhans, Justin Germano and Barry Wesson.
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But clearly the player with the best credentials, and arguably Hall of Fame statistics, is Clemens. LaRoche said he got the idea, put the word out, and was surprised at the feedback he got.
“I put out a feeler, a text message, and I was blown away at the response,” LaRoche told the Wichita Eagle. “And, I mean, right away, guys responded and were really excited about it, wanting more and more information.
“I think something about being out of the game, whether it’s for a couple months or a couple years, not having that competition is why guys are so excited to get back out and play the game.”
The NBC World Series has always been a place for a true baseball junkie to see a lot of high-quality ball in a little bit of time, and maybe catch a glimpse of stars of the future. This year’s event will now feature a bit of yesteryear as well. The second weekend of the tournament features baseball around the clock, and Wichita is a town with a nationally underappreciated baseball history.
It will be interesting to see if Clemens, again at age 54, can still pitch like The Rocket of old. If so, will this help or hurt his Hall of Fame candidacy? The statistics are clearly HOF worthy, but if he can still pitch like he did when he was the dominant right-hander in all of baseball, will that confirm all those steroid suspicions?
Maybe the Kansas Stars make Wichita is this year’s top baseball vacation destination!