Cooperstown Chronicles – Dwight Gooden

Apr 28, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Favre_is_overrated_2007, a friend of mine from Sporting News, suggested Dwight Gooden.  Here are my findings.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
410 Starts
2800.7 Innings Pitched
194-112 Record
.634 Winning %
3.51 ERA (compared to 3.88 League ERA)
1.256 WHIP
2293 Ks
68 Complete Games
24 Shutouts
One 20 Win Season

Playoffs:  9 Starts, 0-4 record, 3.97 ERA, 49 Ks, 1 painful World Series Ring

1985 Cy Young
1984 Rookie of the Year
1985 Triple Crown
1985 Sporting New Pitcher of the Year
4 All-Star Game Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 5 Seasons
MVP Votes in 3 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – Six Times (Led league in 1985)
ERA – Four Times (Led league in 1985)
Winning % - Seven Times 
Innings - Four Times (Led league in 1985)
Strikeouts – Seven Times (Led league in 1984 & 1985)
Starts – Three Times
Complete Games – Six Times (Led League in 1985)
Shutouts -  Seven Times

Talk about waste of talent.  Not many pitchers did what Doc did in his first three seasons.  58-19 (.753) with a 2.28 ERA and 248 Ks/yr.  We’re talking Sandy Koufax type dominance.  Perhaps he was too young (19) for all of that success.  Perhaps it was the bright lights of New York City and the pressures of being a teen-superstar in that media circus.  Perhaps it was the popularity of cocaine is some circles in the mid-eighties.  I’m sure it’s a combo platter.  Whatever it was, Doc Gooden was easily on target for Cooperstown before he became one of the game’s most tragic figures.  I am almost tempted to enshrine him based on his winning percentage, but sadly I can’t do it despite being one of my favorite players growing up.  At least he can be pointed to as an example of drugs can do to you.  He should have listened to Nancy Reagan when she said “Just Say No”.  If he had Dr. K would be a Hall of Famer right now.


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda*
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson*
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb
John Franco
Maury Wills
Sherry Magee
Phil Rizzuto*
Orel Hershiser
Frank Viola
David Cone

* signifies actual Hall of Famers

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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38 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    April 28th, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    There is nothing I can add. You said it all. But hey I will add my 2 cents.
    Doc has better numbers than some that are in but it isn’t just about the numbers. Maybe if the Mets had won 3 straight World series in his first 3 years we might think different


  2. Ryan Lester
    April 28th, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    Larry – Yep, what could have been with Doc and Straw.

  3. Ronald Tenore
    May 16th, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    I have been “Doc” Goodens biggest fan I have seen Dwight Pitch from the inception of his debut with the METS. Till this day I believe that during Dwight’s first three years as a Met, no player since Koufax and Bob Gibson has electrified baseball the way Dwight has. He was the youngest Rookie of the Year, as well as yougest Cy Young winner (triple crown)as weel as breaking almost every Met record in pitching since Tom Seaver. as a matter of fact there is scientific proof that Gooden was a better pitcher than Tom. He did break a few of his records such as ERA and many others. I was his biggest Fan . The Tampa Tribune did a front page interview with me on June 8,2000 Sports Section when Doc pitched for the Yankees against the Mets in game one of a double header. I believe the Mets should now retire Dwight’s #16 or they should be ashamed of themselves for Dwight Gooden was a legend at Shea.His number 16 should be retired this year before the Walls come tumbling down at shea .
    To see the article you can google The Tampa Tribune , Sports section “Doc’s biggest fan” June8,2008 and it should come up . Martin Fennely was the writer.
    For your signed statement to retire “Docs” # 16 at Shea please write to Ron @ 3133 ,Mount Vernon, N.y. 10553

  4. Bill Withers
    May 16th, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    YEs I feel Ronald Tenoreis correct. Dwight gooden was the biggest thing on the Mets since Seaver if not more popular during his Hey day. So the guy made some off the field mistakes. He still deserves to have his number retired if not go to the Hall of Fame. Do it Mets. I will be part of the “Docs” petition to retire his # 16 at Shea

  5. Susan Gritch
    May 16th, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    LEt’s all be part of this group to get The BRass at Shea to retire Doc Goodens number. I loved Dwight. Now the Mets are just alright. Doc ws the greatest I feel. and always was next to Seaver. I Think Gooden was better at the age of 20 than Seaver in his prime. I will signe that petition.

  6. LestersLegends
    May 16th, 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    Ron, Bill, and Susan. I agree with you guys that his number should be retired by the Mets. I’m surprised it hasn’t been already. I still think he falls short of the Hall. Some people on the Sporting News site suggested that it was more to do with arm fatigue and being overworked than the drugs. I think there could be something to that. Thanks for checking out my site.

  7. Josephine S
    May 18th, 2008 at 7:05 am #

    Yes I believe that Dwight Gooden was the Mesiah and what a shame that he had to go down in the late 90′s . But he proved everyone wrong on the sophomore jinx when he went 24-4 with an ERA of 1.53. tha’s mind boggling. I remember him and wich him well . Yes lets retire that #

  8. LestersLegends
    May 18th, 2008 at 7:12 am #

    Josephine – I’m with ya.

  9. Frank
    July 6th, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    Doc Gooden…just hearing that name brings a smile to my face. He was power and grace, electric and sparkling, hero and goat, brilliant and tragic. I loved Doc Gooden and i still do. There isn’t a day that goes by if i’m watching a game that i don’t think about his high leg kick swipping down, then sending a blistering seed into Carters mit. I was a Mets fan until they dismissed Doc…and when the Yanks welcomed him with open arms i was with him and the Mets didn’t mean anything to me anymore. If the Mets do come to their senses and retire his number I will have to give them some of my time out of respect for him.

    And to every please don’t say he was a waste of talent b/c he wasn’t, he just about perfect for many seasons and for the others seasons he was one of the leagues best…he never give up, and if he let you down a few times well that’s a lot less than the next best pitcher. He gave everything he had on every ptch we watched. Doc Gooden thru too many innings at an early age – Mel Stolamyer should be held accountable for that. Doc should be held to the highest regards for what he did do and not what he didn’t accomplish or fall short of. He accomplished a great deal and we had the pleasure to watch it. Remember that!

  10. Larry Novak
    July 6th, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    Doc was must see TV when he pitched, The Mets with Doc, Darryl and the others were the toast of New York in the last 1/2 of the 80s. Baseball was revived in New York during that time. His number should be retired by the Mets

  11. LestersLegends
    July 6th, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Frank – Agree he was used too much too soon, but his decisions impacted his career as well
    larry – totally aree.

  12. Josephine S
    July 7th, 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi I appereciate that people are seeing that Doc desrves his number to be retired. I would like to start the process of getting the Mets to see all these messages and signatures.I had a fan club and I was the president as I want to continue on my mission to have Doc’s number retired

    Ron J tenore

  13. Josephine S
    July 7th, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    to Frank
    thanks for your great comment’s on doc Gooden. He was the best. I love darryl also but Dwight desrves the highest of accolades.The Mets are a phony franchise. I( honestly believe that they will never win again until Doc’s number is retired. that’s my personal wish an hex on the team

  14. LestersLegends
    July 7th, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    Ron – I’m all for it. Get a site started and I’ll post a link to it in this article.

  15. Frank
    July 26th, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    on the east coast len dykstra did an interview…that guy was heart and guts. but the interviewer asked his about his thoughts on Gooden…len replied, “i lived with doc and darryl my rookie season…those two guys have a huge heart and had huge talent…people make decisions that bring direct you in a good way or the wrong way in life…either way i love those guys for who they are and what they did on the field. i’m there for them. that’s all i’ll say on that”

    nice comment.

  16. LestersLegends
    July 26th, 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    thanks frank. great comment indeed.

  17. Anonymous
    August 17th, 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Doc Gooden was my first and last baseball hero

  18. LestersLegends
    August 17th, 2008 at 8:09 pm #

    I guess he’s proof why athletes shouldn’t be heros anymore.

  19. Ronald Tenore
    August 19th, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    Thank you for all that have contributed. I am just about ready to hopefully post a petition to have Doc Gooden’s Number 16 retired. All who are interested will have the opportunity to post their names . I would like to hear from anyone who is now interested in seeing one of the greatest pitchers whoever lived have his number retired by the Mets not to mention he also deserves one day to be in The Hall of Fame. I would like to thank Lesters Legends for this opportunity.

    Ron Tenore Dwight Gooden’s Fan club President

  20. LestersLegends
    August 19th, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    Ronald – When that petition is available let me know and I’ll include a link on here as well as run a separate post.

  21. Ronald tenore
    August 20th, 2008 at 2:24 pm #

    Ok I will let you know. Thanks for the opportunity and the interest that you are givinng others

  22. David T. Lewis
    September 24th, 2008 at 1:40 pm #

    Ronald – I will certainly sign the petition. Dwight Gooden gave me so many wonderful memories growing up. I watched or listened to every one of his starts from the beginning to the end with the Yankees. I think I cried when he pitched that no-hitter for the Yankees. It says a lot that I even rooted for the hated Yankees when Gooden pitched for them. Thanks for starting this fan club and getting Gooden the recognition he deserves.

  23. LestersLegends
    September 24th, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    David – Thanks for sharing.

  24. Ronald "Docs" Fan Club
    September 27th, 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    thanks everyone for your Doc Gooden’s best wishes and petition. This weekend may be a very big reunion with the possibility of Dwight Gooden being at the festivities. That is step one in rewarding Doc with a possible #16 retiremnet day at next years Cit- field. it’s a no- brainer that Doc desrves his numbe to be retired, and when my petition is ready all may participate. SO once again let’s all cheer on Doc Gooden this weekend if he shows htere. I think he will. That’s just a gut feeling. I think the Mets owe Dwight an apology. not to mention his number to be retired.

    thanks Ron

  25. Ronald "Docs" Fan Club
    September 27th, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    And to let everyone know I will be posting a petitiion very soon. Sorry for the delay. LEt’s Go Dwight gooden.

  26. 2009 MLB Hall of Fame Ballot | Fantasy Sports Blog
    December 8th, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    [...] Finley Steve Finley Nellie Fox* John Franco Gary Gaetti Steve Garvey Lefty Gomez* Luis Gonzalez Dwight Gooden Joe Gordon Mark Grace Bobby Grich Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager) Ron Guidry Chick Hafey* Billy [...]

  27. Ron Tenore
    March 16th, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    Doc Gooden Fans please repond to this message now .It’s time to post Dwight gooden’s petition for retirement of his #16 here on Lester’s legends. I am sorru for the delay. the more sigantures or messages that we get will be betterSo feel free to submit a message as well as on my own Email address..
    Thanks Ron Pres of Fans for Dwight Gooden

  28. Ronald M. Goldstein
    April 8th, 2009 at 6:03 am #

    I am Doc’s representative and I will be making my plea with Mets Management to have him throw out the first pitch at the New Citi Field.
    Can I please get your help and support to submit in my campaign to retire his number, your petition data and information.

    Thanks in advance, And I look forward to speaking with you to help make this Dream of Doc’s a reality!

    Thanks in advance!

    Ronald M. Goldstein

  29. LestersLegends
    April 8th, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    He would be great to throw out the first pitch and his number should be retired for sure.

  30. Larry
    April 8th, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    This from Todays Long Island Newsday

    Mets should honor Strawberry, Gooden,0,5973205.column

  31. Ronald Tenore
    April 9th, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Dear Mr.Ronald Goldstein , My name is Ron Tenore I have been Dwight Gooden’s biggest Fan since the inception of his Mets Debut in 1984. I was always a Mets Fan but When this 19 year old Pitching phenom made his debut, I was blown away by this guy. Take your Tom who was great and Darryls( who realaly didn’t show greatness, maybe at Shea0 and whoever, but no one has emerged at such a young age to win all those awards .1) to become the Rookie of the year in 1984 plus 2) having the strikeout record for rookies at 276. then 3) Dwight is the first pitcher to have 200+ strikeouts in each of his first three seasons which is a history record. Then 4)To be the youngest Cy Young Award pitcher in history, also to win the triple crown that year with an ERA of 1.53 5)He also tied Sandy Koufax on one record , Also beat out Tom Seaver for best ERA on the Mets ever. 60 Dwight also has the batting record for pitchers frm What I know. (7 homers). there are so many more records
    Well Ronald Now you know I ws his fan. plus Sports editor Martin Fennily of the TAmpa Tribune wrote an article about me on the fron page of their Saturday June 8th e if I remember correctly the Summer of 2000 when Dwight pitched the second game of a double header against the Mets as a Yankee at shea Stadium . Martin Fennely Headed the Front page as “Docs Biggest Fan” which also continued onto page 5 of that day’s paper. I was Doc Goodens Fan Club president a the time. Also Doc was contacted and let know about this article. I have tried to Have the Mets retire his # 16 which they have talked to me about. They were ver y positive at the time. Today I would like to get this project done if you would like to help me succeeed in this matter # 16 should have been retired . Yes everyone makes mistakes in life and now is the time for this new stadium to retire his #. as well as Dwight should definately go to the hall of fame.
    ronald I give you my “Yes” for you to use my name to have Dwight throw out the first pitch at Citi Field. I also want to have his number retired so you have my vote for that also . LEster has been a great help here on this site and if you read up about tn months ago I was very vocal to help Dwight.Ronald you can reach me at (914) 804 6879 on my cell to contact me. Plese do. I want to help Dwight. I think I can help with my background as his BIggest Fan.Which I am. Check out that Tampa publication. my picture is also in there. thanks ROn tenore Dwight Goodens’ fan Pres. and Biggest Fan

  32. Roanld Tenore
    April 9th, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    To Mr. Ronald Goldstein

    I have posted my message to you on Dwight Gooden. Please contact me so I can help get Doc to throw out the first pitch. Plus retire his #16 call me (9140 804 6879

  33. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    [...] Finley Steve Finley Nellie Fox* John Franco Gary Gaetti Steve Garvey Lefty Gomez* Luis Gonzalez Dwight Gooden Joe Gordon Mark Grace Bobby Grich Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager) Ron Guidry Chick Hafey* Jesse [...]

  34. erik
    August 6th, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    Doc should be on the Hall of Fame for crack heads. him and straw were high on crack half of the time and still were good. just imagine if they didnt smoke crack

  35. Josephine Roman
    November 12th, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    To Erik
    It’s a shame you most likely know nothing about baseball. or you are probaly too young to have even known the great “Dwight Gooden”. there is no met today that can shine the shoes of Dwight “Doc” Gooden. He was better than Seaver. If he hadn’t had the off the field problems than he would be the greatest pitcher that ever lived. Also Doc did not play with the integrity of the game. He had a disese. As far as the primadonas today who used steroids? that’ a whole new issue. they are not even worth the toilet paper that I use. They should all be banned from baseball, but don’t forget Bud Selig has to make big money so he suppresses that or sugar coats the situation.
    When that guy Ron is ready “Lets all petition to have Dwight Gooden’s number 16 retired”. He is still going to be a hall of famer one day. No one has those records in their young pitching careers. Doc was a phenomenon.Erik get alife or a job. You are an idot!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. LestersLegends
    November 12th, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    Obviously his drug use ruined him, but I think the Mets rushed him and did a disservice to his arm.

  37. Ron Tenore
    June 12th, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    August of 2010 was agreat month and on one particular day that month the N.Y Mets did something that was long oversue. they enshrined The great”Dwight Eugene Gooden ” and Darryl Strawberry into the hall of fame. Yes this is an honor for that organization. With only two world championships under their belt. The Mets have upgraded their credibi;lity by these two Stars. Especially Dwight “Doc “Gooden. THis 1980′s Phenom only comes around once in a Century. LEt’s face it THis Man had Sandy Koufax nubers , YOungest cy YOung winner in history, holds the rookie record of 276 strikeouts till this day, was the youngest Cy young award winner even over Ferenando Valenzuela of the Dodgers, WOn the triple crown of piting that year with a 1.53 ERA. Unheard of! Was the first pitcher to strikeout 200 or more batters in his first three years in the majors, a great personality and everyone knew he was special. Get this !! he has 68 complete games and 24 shuotouts in his careeer. In Dwights first 50 starts he was 37-5. Not taking anything away from Straw but Dwight Gooden was your household name to say the least. There hasn’t come a player in new YOrk since “Broadway Joe Namath”like Dwight Gooden. LAst Sunday Night at 11:30 p.m., Mike Francessa’s show “Mike’d UP” did aten minute interview with im and WOW!! IT gave me goose bumpss to see what this man has actually done on the mound. He was also on the fron tcover of every magazine in history. THe one thing he doesn’ t have yet is his number 16 retired yet. I would like to ask the people of this forum to each get together abnd contact me if you are a real fan Of DOc’s and A si said earlier I want to petition the NY METs to do the right thing and retire is number. PLease serious inquiries only . Let’s repect the man that gave us all those baseball thrills

  38. Kristi
    May 24th, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Free Dwight Gooden Signing
    Saturday, June 18th From 12 – 2
    Free, Photos, Food and Giveaways
    Location: Kinnebrook Estates
    351 State Route 17B
    Monticello, NY 12701

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