Dwight “Doc” Gooden: What Could Have Been

Dwight “Doc” Gooden is one of the biggest what-if stories in all of MLB history. From 1984-1992, Gooden really flashed his dominance and insane talent. Exactly half of his career was phenomenal while the other half was clouded heavily by his drug and alcohol addiction.
When Doc Gooden was good, he was really, really good. In the 8 year span from 1984 to 1992, he won the Rookie of the Year award, the NL Cy Young award in 1985, the Triple Crown Winner in 1985, 4-time all-star, and he won the World Series 3 times – 1 with the Mets and 2 with the Yankees. The Triple Crown is perhaps the most impressive, as it is given to any pitcher that leads the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Since 1930, only 15 men have won a triple crown for pitching, and the fact that Gooden is one of them speaks levels about his talent and what could have been. After his historic 1985 season, Gooden won a World Series with the Mets in 1986, and on the way, he became the youngest pitcher in MLB history to be the starting pitcher for the All-Star game. From August 11th, 1984 to May 6th, 1986, Doc had 50 starts and his stats for those 50 starts were a record of 37-5, an ERA of 1.38, and 412 strikeouts in 406 innings. Those statistics are simply phenomenal for any pitcher, let alone a 20-year-old in his second year!! Ever since the 1986 season, Gooden did not play well and even though he had decent seasons with the Yankees, his addictions are what people really remember about him. With multiple DUI’s and issues with cocaine and alcohol, Gooden was suspended and arrested multiple times. During the Mets championship parade in 1986, Gooden did not attend as he later admitted that he was doing drugs at his dealer’s house. Doc Gooden has been caught with cocaine as recently as 2019. What could have been will never be witnessed as a potential all-time great fell victim to drug abuse? The good thing is that Doc Gooden is not going to jail and instead is undergoing a drug rehabilitation program and is getting help. Hopefully, this time is the final time because an unbelievably talented man like that should not be going through this.


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