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Former Yankees player Roger Clemens on how he was 'supposed to pitch' the night of 9/11

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Former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens spoke with Jon Scott about his experience following the September 11 terrorist attacks 20 years ago.

Clemens opened by remarking on his reaction to hearing many people’s accounts of the attacks on 9/11, especially the now-grown children of the victims.

“For me, just hearing from the 20-year-old kids that had lost their parents throughout all this has been really a treat for me to hear now that they are young adults, and it’s something we’ve got to continue to keep the younger generation aware of, like I said, so you never forget. Again, to hear their stories is remarkable,” Clemens said.

“It really is a powerful testament to the legacy of the people we lost that day,” Scott remarked.

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The “Fox Report” host also noted that Clemens was originally supposed to pitch the night of September 11, 2001, but since then he has worked to help organizations like Helping the Heroes Foundation. Clemens then recounted where he was during the moment of the attacks.

“Well, I was supposed to pitch the night of 9/11 when everything happened. I was woken by a friend of mine at our building that’s not too far from the World Trade area, and we went up to the top floor and saw what had happened. We thought it was a smaller plane or an accident and then obviously within 20, 30 minutes, we knew, well, it was a terrorist attack and we were being attacked. Our nation was being attacked and everything kind of changed from there,” Clemens said. 

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He then described the first game the Yankees played following 9/11, noting “there wasn’t a dry eye in Chicago” when they played. More importantly, he was glad that they could “take a lot of the fans’ minds off what was going on.”

“Mike Piazza hit an unbelievable home run and really was able to take a lot of the fans’ minds off what was going on and back to baseball a little bit. I got an opportunity to pitch again and got my 20th win at the time, but there wasn’t a dry eye in Chicago,” Clemens said.

While Clemens remarked that returning to New York after the game was “one of the hardest things” he had to do, he also recalled other moments such as watching the first pitch made by former President George W. Bush.

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“When we came back to play the World Series game 3 in Yankees Stadium, President Bush, 43, came out to throw out the first pitch, and I think everyone has seen the video of him, with a bullet-proof vest on, wind up and throw a perfect strike down Broadway. And the whole place lit up. I was in the bullpen with Mel Stottlemyre, the pitching coach, and I stopped warming up and asked Mel to turn around with me so we could watch,” Clemens described.

“We had the perfect seat,” he said. “Fifty-five thousand people, so it was great.”

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