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Roger Clemens would wear a Red Sox hat into the Hall of Fame

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It's the Roger Clemens homecoming you always secretly wanted.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Are you still mad about Roger Clemens leaving the Red Sox to go to the Yankees? You probably shouldn't be, considering that part of the reason he left to begin with is that Boston wouldn't pay him like he deserved and more than hinted he was washed up as a rotation leader. (And hey, he went to the Yankees after going to Canada.) You especially shouldn't be, though, since even Clemens seems to have moved on: he's being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame alongside Pedro Martinez and Nomar Garciaparra, and today told the media he would wear a Red Sox cap to Cooperstown were he to be elected.

Clemens doesn't seem overly worried about whether the BBWAA inducts him in the first place, but about which hat he'd don on his plaque, he did say, "Obviously, it will be Boston because I spent most of my time here." We'll add in for Rocket that his best years also came with the Sox: in his 13 years with the Red Sox, Clemens put up 81 wins above replacement with a 144 ERA+, averaged 32 starts and 231 innings per season from 1986 through 1996, won three Cy Youngs, came in second and third for the award in two other seasons, led the American League in ERA+ on five occasions, with the last coming nine years after the first.

He was great with the Blue Jays, Astros, and Yankees to varying degrees, but none of those individual stints were as long nor as fruitful as in the place where he began his Cooperstown-caliber career. You could argue that just his non-Sox time is worthy of the Hall, too, but it's obviously a little more controversial for some.

In case you aren't up on how many wins above replacement a typical Hall of Fame pitcher has, Clemens' 81 is more than Tom Glavine had in his entire career. It's more than Curt Schilling, another Red Sox pitcher who should make the Hall, it's just under what Pedro Martinez accomplished in his injury-shortened but obviously Hall of Fame career, and it's more than all but 19 other pitchers since 1901 have accrued. A Red Sox cap is the right choice for a whole lot of reasons, but it's lovely to hear Clemens say it for any of them.