Roger Clemens easily won his record seventh Cy Young Award after putting off retirement and being about as dominant as ever, even at age 42.
The Rocket received 23 of 32 first-place votes and 140 points in balloting released Tuesday by the Baseball Writers' Association of America to win the NL Cy Young for the first time after capturing six Cy Youngs in the American League.
He's the oldest Cy Young winner. Gaylord Perry was 40 when he won the NL honor in 1978.
Clemens retired after pitching for the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series, then changed his mind and signed with his hometown Houston Astros and went 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 218 strikeouts. Currently in Japan with a touring major league all-star team, he said last week he hasn't decided whether he will pitch in 2005.
Arizona's 41-year-old Randy Johnson, second to Clemens with five Cy Youngs, finished second in the voting with eight first-place votes and 97 points. The Big Unit went 16-14 with a 2.60 ERA and a major league-leading 290 strikeouts, Arizona scored two runs or fewer in 17 of his 35 starts.
Houston's Roy Oswalt, who went 20-10 to lead the NL in wins, was third with 19 points, followed by San Francisco's Jason Schmidt with 13.
Clemens won three Cy Youngs with Boston (1986-87, 1991), two with Toronto (1997-98) and one with the New York Yankees (2001). He is the first player to win BBWAA awards with four teams, and the first to win eight awards, he was the AL MVP in 1986.
With a 328-164 record, Clemens is 10th on the career wins list, and his 4,317 strikeouts are second to Nolan Ryan's 5,714.
He signed with the expressed intent of helping the Astros reach the World Series for the first time, but Houston fell one win short. Clemens couldn't hold a 2-0 lead against St. Louis in Game 7 of the NL championship series, when Albert Pujols hit a tying double in the sixth inning, and Scott Rolen followed with a two-run homer.
Clemens earned a $100,000 bonus for winning the award, while Johnson got $150,000 for finishing second. Oswalt and Schmidt earned bonuses of $25,000 each.