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Kellogg Co. sponsored a breakfast yesterday morning for retailers in the New York metropolitan area, and the featured speaker at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Manhattan’s Times Square was New York Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens.

We had the opportunity to attend with our 13-year-old son, and found that Clemens was every bit as charming on the dais as he seems to be intimidating on the pitcher’s mound. The hurler answered dozens of questions from the audience and signed everything from baseballs to t-shirts to Yankee caps.

But beyond the standard stuff, he had a great message for kids – and even adults – about the importance of a work ethic. While Clemens is just a few wins shy of 300, and could probably coast during his likely final year as an active player before becoming a first-round selection to the Hall of Fame, he noted that he had a lot of work to do. He won’t pitch until Friday, but there are things he needs to focus on, he said, so he can be better then than he was last Sunday.

Which seems like the definition of real success to us.

(Clemens also noted that he’s met a lot of players during his career who could have had Hall of Fame careers, but who were willing to coast and do just enough to make a good living without pushing themselves to a higher degree of excellence. Which sounds like the definition of the Mets.)
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