Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Thanks to Steve and Alex, Doc Gooden is FOREVER!

Kenny Loggins has an all-time favorite song of mine called Forever.

When I looked at the top of Citi Field and saw the number 16 which will hang forever next to the number 24 which was once worn by one of baseball’s top three players ever, Willie Mays I thought that was truly amazing, incredible, unbelievable… and, FOREVER!

In the song the lyrics say … forever in my heart forever we will be … even when I’m gone… you will be with me… Forever!

So beautiful, So appropriate, so wonderful for someone who has been to the top of the mountain and fallen off but climbed up again because a tough man (George Steinbrenner) with a good heart and soul gave him a second chance.

Then he fell off again and another tough man and his wife (Steve and Alex Cohen) with good a heart and soul gave him another second chance.

Isn’t that what life is all about?

Life is about second chances especially when you are talking about a person that has contributed so much in so many ways. Most people have no idea what this man has sacrificed to help others… Yes, we all know his greatness as a baseball player. We all know what could have been. We all know that he could have been in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. However, most don’t realize that this man could be down to his last dollar and he would give it up to help someone that he felt needed it more.

I would not say this if I didn’t see it myself on many occasions.

He would always help family, friends, and crazy as it sounds complete strangers.

Yes, he suffers from the disease of addiction however with the help of a lady named Adele Smithers from the famed Smithers Foundation and George Steinbrenner he was able to get from first to second base. Unfortunately, they have painfully died. When Doc was at the podium yesterday at Citi Field and it started to rain I know he was thinking about his mom and dad, however, I also know he was thinking about the Boss and Adele. The rain truly represented tears of joy from Heaven! The Boss and Adele are proud and I must add that Mel Stotlemyer and Gary Carter are too!

Doc is now standing on third base thanks to Steve and Alex and their wonderful gift of another second chance! Of understanding what Doc means to Mets fans everywhere but more importantly what Doc means to people who have also fallen from that mountain and are begging for a second chance to.

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