When men who shared past glory get together, they tell stories.
And so in the EMC Club on the third floor of Fenway Park Thursday, before they were inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, Roger Clemens, and Joe Castiglione remembered how they got here.
Martinez remembered the 2004 World Series.
“I will never see another dream being more special than the one we achieved here in Boston in ’04,” said Martinez, who helped the Sox end an 86-year title drought that season.
Castiglione, the longtime broadcaster, remembered the call, and recited it Wednesday:
“Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He underhands to first. For the first time in 86 years. Can you believe it?
“It wasn’t my moment,” Castiglione said. “It was Red Sox Nation’s moment.”
Garciaparra, who was traded in midseason of that year, remembered the pain.
“I was obviously devastated being traded, no question about that,” said Garciaparra, who was sent to the Cubs on July 31, 2004, after nine seasons with the Sox, in which he hit .323 with 690 RBIs.
He remembers getting calls from his teammates after being dealt.
“Hey, did you see that?” they would ask him.
Or, “We’re thinking about you.”
“I’m watching you,” Garciaparra would respond.
Clemens remembered those who helped him win 354 games and seven Cy Young Awards.
“My mother and my grandmother, and the struggles they went through to make sure I had the best glove and the best pair of cleats,” said Clemens, who won 192 games and three Cy Youngs with the Red Sox.
Castiglione called every single one of those wins. He remembers both of Clemens’s 20-strikeout games, one on a cold April night at Fenway, and the other in Detroit, with both teams out of the playoff race.
“You never know what you’re going to see at the ballpark today,” said Castiglione, who has called more than 5,000 games in his career. “When your team is 15, 20 games out of first place, what gets you going? Well, you might see something that you never saw before.”
Martinez, who was 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA in seven seasons with the Sox, remembered his plucky performance in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS, and his 17-strikeout, one-hitter against the Yankees, and the electricity of Fenway.
“You can feel the heat from the bodies,” he said. “You’re loud, you have people right on top of you, and it’s like everybody’s right on top of you. And you can literally handshake someone as you’re walking in.
“And I’ve seen that happen. I’ve seen some of the guys, after scoring, going so close by the fans that they handshake them. Like Manny [Ramirez]. Make a play, and go handshake, and then throw the ball back. That’s how Fenway makes you feel.”
On Thursday, they were back at Fenway. After a video montage of photos and videos of games and accomplishments — the soundtrack to Clemens’s piece was Elton John’s “Rocket Man” — each man walked across a red carpet strewn from the Sox’ dugout. Castiglione went first, followed by Clemens, Garciaparra, and Martinez, who drew the loudest cheers from the crowd. After posing on the mound holding their plaques, they all threw pitches to current Sox players.
Earlier, Clemens, plagued by steroid accusations, stood firm in his belief that he played the game fairly. He said he can’t control whether he’ll one day enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Thursday, though, was more about memories.
Clemens remembered pitching against Martinez and how his sons would watch.
“The boys just saw Pedro, and to hear their recounts of the story or their comments, that was really cool,” he said. “They said, ‘Dad, when you matched up against No. 1s, and especially Pedro, the electricity in the air was like a prize fight.’ ”
Clemens motioned toward Martinez, who was wearing sunglasses and a white shirt with the top two buttons undone.
“I know I had a couple good ones against this Secret Service guy,” Clemens said.
“Can you talk a little bit about your mechanics?” Martinez asked. “Can you comment about your time here with the Red Sox?”
Clemens laughed. Martinez continued.
“I copied a lot of you,” said Martinez. “That’s something I never expressed to people. I copied a lot of your mechanics. I thought you were the best mechanics I’ve ever seen for a righthanded pitcher.”
Then Clemens climbed out of his seat, walked to Martinez, and they embraced.
They all, surely, will remember this day.