Roger Clemens

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Roger Clemens Wins ’86 All-Star MVP in Vintage Puma Cleats

The 84th MLB All-Star Game takes place tomorrow night at 8pm from Citi Field, but before the Midsummer Classic gets underway, Sneaker Report flashes back to the 1986 game. Both teams were stacked to the brim with talent, featuring names such as Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripkin Jr., Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, and Daryl Strawberry. In the end, the American League walked away with a close 3-2 victory, ending the National League’s long-running streak of winning 13 of the last 14 match-ups.

The night’s Most Valuable Player was Roger Clemens, who was outstanding in his All-Star debut. Matched up against the National League’s fierce clubbers, Clemens pitched three perfect inning, allowing no hits and no walks as the American League built a 2-0 lead. From there, the AL would score once more at the top of the 7th, increasing the lead to 3-0. In the bottom of the 8th, the National League rallied back with two runs, but weren’t able to tie it in the final inning. Clemens’ MVP-worthy performance on the mound helped to set the tone for the night, and the NL never bounced back. After earning the game’s highest honors in his debut, The Rocket appeared in another ten All-Star games throughout his MLB career.

And how about the cleats Clemens wore for his All-Star initiation? Although Puma isn’t commonly spotted on modern-day baseball diamonds, they were a force throughout the ’80s. This vintage style must have provided The Rocket with all the traction and support he needed on the mound, because he would end up wearing the same model for a few years.

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