One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history has returned to the old ballgame, as Roger Clemens
re-joined his Houston Astros teammates on June 22. It's the 23rd Major League season for "The Rocket" and his return opened the door for McFarlane Toys
to create a new Sports Picks figure. Although Clemens has appeared in Sports Picks lineups recently (as an Astro in MLB 10 and at the 2004 MLB FanFest in Houston, in 2003 as a Toronto Blue Jays surprise figure in MLB 6, and as a Boston Red Sox surprise figure in MLB 3) they've all been repaints of his original pose (as a New York Yankee in MLB 2).
Originally scheduled as a new-sculpt Clemens figure as part of this spring's MLB 15 lineup, but since Clemens didn't sign with any team in the off-season (opting to pitch for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and work out privately) McFarlane Toys didn't own the rights to use his likeness, since unsigned free agents are technically not part of the Major League Baseball Players' Association. The sculpted figure sat for a few months, and finally received the "green light" once Roger made his season debut on June 22.
The production timeline leaves this Clemens figure completed too late to be added to this summer's MLB 16 lineup, so he'll be offered as a special window-boxed "Collector's Edition" figure -- scheduled to arrive in retail stores in early November. There will be two versions of this special Clemens figure: a pinstriped Houston Astros version
available at mass retail and through specialty retailers, and a pinstriped Yankees version
available exclusively through the McFarlane Toys Collector's Club and in the retail store in Arizona.