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Big night for Mackor

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  June 6, 2006 06:17 PM

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LEXINGTON, KY. -- Salem, N.H.'s Jeff Mackor is pretty excited about catching Roger Clemens tonight here at Applebee's Park. He got the call late last night from Salem (Va.) manager Jim Pankovits (another ex-Sox infielder), where Mackor is playing, and drove 5 hours to catch Clemens.

Mackor played high school ball at St. John's Prep (Danvers) and Boston College and grew up idolizing Clemnens.

"It's a pretty big deal for me and for my family," Mackor said. "I grew up 25 miles from Boston. My first memory of Roger is the 1986 World Series. I've idolized him. He was always my favorite player."

Mackor went over the game plan with Clemens at about 4:30 p.m. Nothing fancy.

"He's going to throw what he wants to throw," Mackor said. "I'm just happy to sit back there catching it. To say I caught Roger Clemens...that's a thrill I'll never forget."

Mackor was hitting ninth in the Lexington batting order last night. He'll return to Salem (which is a higher A affiliate) after the game.

Mackor predicted that the young hitters Clemens would face would "come out aggressive, looking for the heater."...

Koby Clemens took BP before the game and kidded around with reporters. "After tonight things will calm down around here," said Koby. "Things will get back to normal." Koby Clemens wears No. 8...

Fans were just flooding into this ballpark which seats just over 6,000. More than 9,000 were expected...Yep, we're in Kentucky: Fans took part in a cow-milking contest before the game. The cow was fake, however...Most of the Astros brass was expected to be on hand to watch the game including owner Drayton McLane. GM Tim Purpura was busy with the draft and would not attend....

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