Roger and Koby visit Curt England in the hospital.


Former Astro pitcher Roger Clemens and his son Koby visited Pasadena Memorial pitcher Curt England in the hospital. Curt England and Roger Clemens When Memorial High School baseball player Curt England’s 15-month battle with cancer ended last Thursday, a piece of the Mavs on this season’s roster went with him. “It was kind of an emotional week for the kids,” Mavs baseball head coach Terry Garza said. “They had a lot of adversity to fight through. A lot of the kids grew up with him. They played baseball with him since he was six years old.” A junior who was at the doorstep to a long-awaited varsity spot when he became sick, England never had that opportunity to show what he could do. In Garza’s eyes, England had the potential to compliment the likes of Brady Toler and Kody Eaves, two pitchers with good velocity. England didn’t have the velocity of those two so the righthander could have had hitters chasing juicy-looking pitches that were coming in with a few less miles per hour on the ball. “Curt threw strikes. He was kind of a soft pitcher but he hit his spots,” Garza said. “I think he would have been perfect in following (Brady) Toler, (Josh) Hacker or (Kody) Eaves, somebody with a little more juice on the ball. “Against a team like Deer Park, South Houston’s lefty comes and kind of shuts them down throwing soft. Curt would have been able to do something like that against a good-hitting team.” Garza was referring to South Houston pitcher Esins Salazar, a small-in-stature hurler who can leave hitters in knots because he doesn’t throw with the velocity one would expect from a 5A pitcher. What the program may miss most about England’s absence will be his good-natured personality. In his final weeks, the players did their best to keep him close by wearing warm-up jerseys with his name on the back of the shirts and the number 12, which would have been his varsity number. By ROBERT AVERY Story in Houston News