Before there was Matt Harvey, there was Dwight "Doc" Gooden. If Harvey's starts are must-watch TV for New York baseball fans today, Gooden's trips to the mound as a 19-year-old rookie in 1984 were stop-everything-and-take-notice affairs.
One one of the most feared pitchers in all of baseball, Gooden will be at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on Tuesday, June 11 from 6-8 p.m. to sign copies of his new autobiographical book, "Doc: A Memoir." The memoir by the soft-spoken former Mets and Yankees star is an intimate examination of his successes and failures, from endless self-destructive drug binges to three World Series rings.
The Gooden book is available for purchase at the Museum. To RSVP, call (973) 655-2378.
Gooden debuted with the Mets in 1984 at age 19, becoming an immediate success with his 98-mph fastball and formidable curve, winning National League Rookie of the Year. In his second season, he won the Cy Young Award and followed that by leading the bad-boy 1986 Mets to their second world championship.
But while in perfect control on the field, it was a different story off the mound.
In his new book, Gooden writes that he retreated to a Long Island flophouse to celebrate the World Series win with some cocaine. He partied so much that he missed the victory parade. As drug and legal problems derailed a career many believed would be one of the most legendary in baseball history, Gooden did offer a thrilling glimpse of his greatness near the end. He pitched an improbable no-hitter for the Yankees in 1997.
In his book he lavished praise on Yankee owner George Steinbrenner for believing in him when others didn’t - and for pushing mandatory drug testing throughout baseball.