(HUNTSVILLE) - When Miles Prentice hired Buck Rogers away from Brevard County to be the new general manager of the Huntsville Stars, it was certain he was going to get someone a bit daring and unusual for this city, given his Veeck-like reputation as a master for promotion.
Now here's the proof.
Rogers has extended Roger Clemens -- "The Rocket" -- a contract offer in a letter addressed to him. Not as a pitcher, for which he is well-known. But as the Stars' new mascot.
That's right. Read it again.
In a press release, Rogers explains, "With the upcoming introduction of the new Orion/ARES rocket and the Stars' new logo, which prominently features a rocket, the Stars feel that the introduction of (the) 'Rocket' as the Stars' new mascot makes perfect sense."
The idea is to dress Clemens in an astronaut uniform and simply interact with fans and participate in on-field promotions when Homer, their present mascot, is unavailable.
Says Rogers, "Clemens is a small town guy, and he'd fit in great in Huntsville.... I'm sure they'll accept Clemens."
The offer is by no means lucrative. Clemens will get just $25 per game and receive meal vouchers redeemable at the concession stand at Joe Davis Stadium for one hot dog and one soft drink each night and a 15% discount at the Backstop Shop -- the Stars' souvenir stand.
Clemens, in a 24-year major league career that has apparently ended in controversy, has won 354 games, placing him 8th all-time.