It was his tenth and final time on the ballot, so if he enters the Hall eventually, it won’t be via the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).
Clemens received 65.2 percent of votes and was a little under 10 percent short of the 75 percent threshold.
These three stats, however, tell us he needs to be in Cooperstown.
3. 4,671 strikeouts
Modern analysts and evaluators use other bat-missing stats to determine how dominant a pitcher is.
This one is for the most traditionalists: Clemens, with 4,671 strikeouts, is ranked third on MLB’s all-time list.
Considering he is 16th on the all-time list in innings pitched, being third in strikeouts is awfully impressive.
Clemens wasn’t as overpowering as Johnson when it comes to missing bats, but was really dominant for a long time.
He had a very good fastball, but his split-finger was his go-to pitch and it earned him a lot of whiffs over the course of his brilliant career.
A pitcher with a career 3.12 ERA, a 3.09 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and that many strikeouts certainly deserves a place in the Hall of Fame.
2. 133.7 WAR
WAR, or Wins Above Replacement, is for the analytics-driven folks.
It’s a very good way to determine how much a player contributed to the success of his team.
FanGraphs calculates WAR using FIP, a pitching stat that basically removes defense out of the equation and focuses on the outcomes a pitcher can control: strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches, and home runs.
WAR is a cumulative stat, which means that the more innings a good pitcher logs, the higher his WAR will be.
Clemens leads all pitchers in the history of MLB with 133.7 WAR, per FanGraphs (Baseball Reference has another way to calculate WAR, in which Clemens is third behind Cy Young and Walter Johnson).
all time pitching leaders, WAR
1. Clemens, 133.7
2. Young, 131.5
3. W. Johnson, 117.1
4. Maddux 116.7
5. R. Johnson 110.6
83. Bartolo Colon 51.5
166. Mariano Rivera 39.7
— Lifelong HASSAN HASKINS Fan (@bacongworld) January 22, 2019
Either way you look at it, be it a third or a first place in career WAR, Clemens was one of the single most valuable pitchers in the history of baseball.
He was a star with the Boston Red Sox in the 1980s and 1990s, he was marvelous with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998, he was a key cog in the New York Yankees’ rotation that won two World Series in 1999 and 2000, and he was better than ever as a Houston Astro between 2004 and 2006.
1. 7 Cy Young Awards
Perhaps the best number to show just how good and dominant Clemens was is how much better than his peers he was, and how often he topped them all.
Clemens won an MLB-record seven Cy Young awards.
In seven seasons, he was the best pitcher in his league: that’s something no other pitcher has achieved.
He won three with the Red Sox, two with the Jays, one with the Yankees, and one with the Astros.
In other words, he gave every single organization in which he played in at least one season of Cy Young-caliber performance.
It's crazy to think how once again Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens have not been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bonds is just the sport's career home run leader, and Clemens only won a record seven Cy Young Awards. Too bad the real loser's here are the BBWAA.
— Brian M (@BMCraftPint) January 26, 2022
Pitchers will definitely have a hard time breaking that record.