Blast From the Past: Clemens Humbled by Cabrera


My greatest moment in baseball with the Yankees is not a victory or the Bombers beating the odds to surprise the baseball world. It is an unceremonious moment, one where a legend was taught humility by a then nameless rookie.

It was a victory, yes, but of the spirit. It relates to a time where baseball was more a battle wills rather than of instant replays. In my moment starred one of the most unlikely teams to ever grace the post season, the 2003 Florida Marlins.

It happened during the 4th game of a series conceded to the Yankees by right of pure power, name recognition and tradition. The Marlins were almost staving off elimination. They were 2-1 against the mighty Yankees who had won 101 games during the season and they were facing none other than Roger Clemens. 

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During the first inning of that game, a rookie called up in May 2003 was batting cleanup. He had made a name for himself and was known to have power. At the beginning of the at-bat, Clemens wanted to assert his command of the plate and sent the rookie a fastball, high and tight. The rookie, was unprepared for the heat unleashed by the “Rocket,” which resulted in him stumbling down, providing the baseball some space to follow its course into the Posada’s mitt.

When the rookie got up, he shot Clemens a stare so cold that it should have given everyone chills. A few pitches later, The Rocket decided to test the rookie’s mettle. He sent an offering low and somewhat away. The rookie’s response: he took the Rocket deep, just to teach him some humility. Now, you may ask who that rookie was and where is he now? He goes by the name of Cabrera, Miguel Cabrera.