CWS NOTEBOOK Clemens shares past with Rice's Graham

Sunday, June 15, 2003

OMAHA, Neb. -- Rice coach Wayne Graham had a special player in 1981. While coaching at San Jacinto-North Junior College, his first squad there featured a young pitcher named Roger Clemens.

The freshman helped Graham's club go 43-7 that season. Graham went on to win seven national junior college championships before taking the Rice job 12 years ago.

Clemens went on to better things, too, earning All-American status in helping the Texas Longhorns win the College World Series in 1983, then becoming major league baseball's only six-time Cy Young Award winner.

"What I saw in him was he always threw strikes, he had great mechanics and a great body for a pitcher," Graham said. "He started out not throwing very hard but by the end of the spring he got to throwing about 91."

Clemens won his 300th game Friday with a 5-2 win over St. Louis and raised his career strikeout total to 4,006.

  • DO AS I SAY: Stanford coach Mark Marquess comes across as a pretty serious guy. He is focused, intense and competitive -- and his Cardinal players reflect that on the field.

    But Marquess does not want to see his pitching staff emulating his own technique. The 56-year-old lefty throws batting practice for his team, and cracked a smile when asked to critique his own pitching talents.

    "Very overrated technique," Marquess says with a smile. "I've never iced in my life and I don't worry about technique. Just throw it over ... and have a screen in front of you."

    Senior left-hander Tim Cunningham is diplomatic when it comes to assessing his coach's pitching.

    "He's OK ... he throws hard," the senior said.

    -- AssociatedPress

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