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Clemens gains Hall of Fame support

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Of the several Hall of Fame candidates who played for the Red Sox, Roger Clemens received the most support in this year's vote. The Rocket was listed on 54.1 percent of the ballots, with 239 votes.

This was easily the best showing for Clemens of the five years he's been on the ballot, and a sign that he is gaining momentum to join baseball's most prestigious club someday.

BOSTON -- Of the several Hall of Fame candidates who played for the Red Sox, Roger Clemens received the most support in this year's vote. The Rocket was listed on 54.1 percent of the ballots, with 239 votes.

This was easily the best showing for Clemens of the five years he's been on the ballot, and a sign that he is gaining momentum to join baseball's most prestigious club someday.

:: 2017 Hall of Fame election results ::

Clemens, one of the all-time elite pitchers, has seen his Hall of Fame candidacy hurt by suspicions that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

A player needs 75 percent of the votes to receive entry to the Hall of Fame. This year, 332 votes represented the magic number. Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell were elected.

Bagwell was a Red Sox prospect who was traded to the Astros for veteran reliever Larry Andersen in 1990.

Clemens was at the height of his dominance in Boston at that time, and would later play with Bagwell in Houston.

Of the record seven Cy Young Awards Clemens won in his career, the first three were with the Red Sox, the team with which he recorded a pair of 20-strikeout games. With 192 wins for Boston, Clemens is tied with Cy Young for the team record. Overall, Clemens won 354 games to go along with 4,672 strikeouts.

Clemens will have five more chances to gain entry on the BBWAA ballot.

Two other candidates with Red Sox ties will remain on the ballot for at least one more year in right-hander Curt Schilling and outfielder Manny Ramirez.

Like Clemens, this was Schilling's fifth year on the ballot. He received 199 votes for 45.2 percent, a dip from last year's totals (230 votes, 52.3 percent).

This was the first year on the ballot for Ramirez, who received 105 votes for 23.8 percent. Ramirez was a hitting machine who helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2004 and '07.

While Ramirez's career stats (.312 average, 555 homers, .996 OPS) are clearly Hall of Fame worthy, he was suspended twice for violating MLB's substance-abuse policy.

Lee Smith, who registered 58 of his 478 career saves for the Red Sox from 1988-90, received 151 votes (34.2 percent) in his 15th and final year on the ballot.

Former Red Sox captain Jason Varitek got two votes in his first year of eligibility, falling well short of the five percent total necessary to remain on the ballot. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who spent most of his career as Varitek's teammate, received one vote.

Shortstop Edgar Renteria, who spent the 2005 season with Boston, got two votes.

Five former Red Sox players (Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Orlando Cabrera, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs) didn't receive any votes on their first (and last) year on the ballot.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston Red Sox