November 16, 1964
On this day, 45 years ago, Dwight Gooden was born in Tampa, Florida. On our weekly podcast, we often conjecture that Gooden may have compiled one of the oddest professional careers over the past 20 years.
Gooden was brought up as a 19 year old in 1984 with the New York Mets. In 1985, he pitched one of the most statistically dominating single seasons in baseball history; leading MLB with 24 wins, 268 strikeouts, and a 1.53 ERA.
However, late in 1986, Gooden was introduced to the white horse and things got interesting. Gooden no-showed the team’s 1986 World Series victory parade. The team announced that their star pitcher had overslept, but years later, it was revealed that he was on a cocaine binge. Yet, somehow Strawberry managed to make the parade. Gooden then tested positive for cocaine during spring training in 1987.
Gooden’s career was very strange. So young, so dominating and so promising – but so short.
In his latest altercation with the law, Gooden was released from prison November 9, 2006, after nearly seven months’ incarceration.