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Commissioner honors Clemens
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07/13/2004 10:35 PM ET
Commissioner honors Clemens
Rocket receives Historic Achievement Award
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Roger Clemens holds his son Kody during All-Star festivities on Monday. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

HOUSTON -- Roger Clemens, a six-time Cy Young Award winner whose comeback from retirement has captured the sport's attention this summer, was presented with the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award tonight during the 75th All-Star Game at Minute Maid Park.

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig presented the Houston right-hander, who started for the NL All-Stars, with the award in the middle of the fourth inning. Clemens, who has 320 career wins, is the first pitcher to receive the award.

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The Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award is presented in recognition of an achievement of historical significance. It was last bestowed in 2002 to the Seattle Mariners in recognition of their 2001 season, during which they recorded 116 victories to tie the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the highest single-season win total in Major League Baseball history.

"He's been the best pitcher in baseball," Houston outfielder Lance Berkman said recently. "It's amazing the things he's accomplished, not just this year but his career."

Clemens, 10-3 with a 2.62 ERA, owns a career record of 320-163. The 41-year-old has 4,220 career strikeouts, second all-time to Nolan Ryan.

"What you're seeing is something that's very special, something that fans should appreciate," Houston manager Jimy Williams said of Clemens' first-half performance with the Astros. "It's just a very special performance by a very talented performer."

Clemens was selected Most Valuable Player of the American League in 1986. He has led the league in wins four times, ERA six times and strikeouts five times. Clemens has recorded 46 shutouts and 117 career complete games. He is baseball's active leader in wins, innings, strikeouts, games started, complete games and shutouts.

Previous winners of the Commissioner's Lifetime Historic Achievement Award include Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson.

McGwire and Sosa were honored for their 1998 homer chase, when they battled to be the first to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record. Ripken and Gwynn were awarded the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award during the 2001 All-Star Game at Seattle. Ripken was recognized for his consecutive games streak, and Gwynn for his career batting average.

Bonds was singled out for breaking McGwire's single-season homer record while Henderson, who holds several Major League records including most stolen bases, was also recognized.

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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