In 1983, Roger Clemens's hard work and foresight paid off when the Boston Red Sox selected him in the first round of the draft. Clemens had a meteoric rise through the Red Sox farm system. Rac Slider, manager of the Red Sox's AA New Britain team declared to the Boston Globe, "I haven't seen anyone at the same stage who's got what he's got." Fully grown at 6'4" and 220 pounds, Clemens had the unique combination of one of baseball's best fastballs paired with pinpoint control. Joining the Red Sox midway through the 1984 season, he won nine games and lost four.
The Red Sox, plagued by disappointing pitching, and having not won a World Series since 1918, expected the 21-year old Clemens to become even more that a star; in Clemens they saw a savior.