I first saw the Rocket as a kid growing up in Texas. He made a surprise guest appearance at a summer camp in the early 80s and we got his signature on my older brother's glove. He did some pitching and even switched roles and hit some shots. I was amazed at how the ball seemed to whistle. It seemed so fast to a kid's eyes. Apparently, life moved a little fast for him too.
I next saw the Rocket in 2004 when he was on the Astros . I had that Clemens baseball glove and used it to play softball for good luck. We won the championship cup, but somehow in the excitement I left the glove on the field, never to be seen again. That was around the time he won a Cy Young, which made it a real bummer.
The Rocket had some ups and downs for the next several years and I only saw him on TV. He won some, said some stuff to Congress, and before you knew it, the testimony of a fellow with a syringe stored in a beer bottle was set to give him some trouble. That's the first time my girl saw the Rocket, working for the court. I'm told he he looked a little overweight, tanned, and with colored hair, but his lawyer knew how to handle things and won the case.
The last time I saw the Rocket was back in Texas pitching for the Skeeters in a sort of celebrated comeback. I couldn't miss the spectacle I guess. But I do still miss the glove.