Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Strawberry & Gooden … to be Honored for their greatness as players and people!

For the longest time, I have been sick and tired of hearing about what should have been.

How about the positive part of what was?

Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden broke into the New York scene as the most Cooperstown-bound rookies because of their great and natural baseball ability. Not since Lou Gehrig and Tom Seaver had New York seen such ability on the diamond.

Strawberry’s incredible bat speed and power and The Good Doctors fastball and a curve ball that had the nickname (lord Charles)… I must add that they also had two of the greatest nicknames ever, The Strawman and Dr. K.
These two individuals were fun, exciting, and great. All the major celebrities went to Shea Stadium just to see them. Bad boy Mike Tyson became a good boy whenever he came around and even music superstar Whitney Houston fixed her schedule just so she could hang out with these two great baseball phenomenons!

Over in the Bronx, great Yankee owner George Steinbrenner got upset because he couldn’t understand how his scouts missed out on these two incredible players.

When Mr. Steinbrenner heard that the Mets were going to bring up the 19-year-old Tampa product Gooden, he decided that he was going to bring up 18-year-old Jose Rijo who even though he wasn’t quite Doc Gooden, he would go on to a fabulous career himself.

I remember The Boss once watching an afternoon Mets game because the Yankees were playing that night. The Strawman hit a majestic home run and the Boss screamed out… Only Babe Ruth hit them like that!

Steinbrenner acted as if they were on his team when he watched them play for the Mets.

When the Mets won the 1986 World Series the Boss was the first to say that this was great for New York. He was also happy that Doc and Darryl were the leaders of the pact.

Ten years later Mr. Steinbrenner upset many people in baseball because he would give these two guys who were then termed the dead-end kids by Sports Illustrated a second chance in baseball when they were suspended for addiction issues.

Today George Steinbrenner would applaud Mets owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alex for honoring Doc & Darryl for the positive things that they have brought to baseball.

To understand life’s struggles and the fact that anyone can fall down, however do they have the courage to try to get up.

George Steinbrenner never gave up on Billy Martin, and Steve Howe and until the day he died, he never gave up on Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, and from what I can see, neither will Alex and Steve Cohen.

I personally want to congratulate My Brothers Doc & Darryl on the announcement that the Mets will retire numbers 16 and 18 and induct these two really great guys into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.

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