Dwight Gooden, better known as "Dr. K," or even "Doc," gave the New York Mets the best 10 years of his career. Making his debut on April 7, 1984, the then 19-year-old made a statement that Mets fans would talk about for years.
During his debut season, Doc became known for his 98 MPH fastball, and a wicked curve ball that earned the nickname "Lord Charles" for it's dominance over other curve balls commonly known as "Uncle Charlie." His fast start to the season earned him a spot on the 1984 MLB All-Star team. When he took the mound during that game, he became the youngest player to have ever pitched in an All-Star game. As the MLB celebrated the 50th anniversary of Carl Hubbell's five consecutive strikeouts in the 1934 All-Star game, Gooden combined with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela to make history: The two men combined for six strikeouts in a row over the fourth and fifth innings of the game. That same year, Gooden led the league in strikeouts, and won 17 games – the most by a 19-year-old in 20 years.
In 1985, Gooden had his first and only 20 game win season, becoming one of only 14 African-American pitchers to do so. He had 24 wins that seasons, along with 268 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA. Just his second season in the league, and Gooden peaked. He would not have another 20 game win season, although he did lead the Mets to the playoffs in 1986 Dr. K became the youngest player, at the age of 21 years, seven months and three days, to start an All-Star game in 1986, and took the Mets to the World Series. Despite a less-than-stellar post-season showing by Gooden, the Mets won the World Series that year.
Dwight Gooden stayed with the Mets for several more seasons before playing for the cross-town rival New York Yankees. He also played for a few more teams, but he never returned to his peak form of 1985. There was speculation that a change in his pitching form (which was done to prolong his career), or pushing the pitcher to perform too fast are what caused the declination in his performance. Adding a shoulder injury in 1989 certainly didn't help matters.
In 2006, Gooden appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot, but after receiving less than 5% of the vote, he was removed from future consideration. On August 1, 2010, Gooden was officially inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.
You have the very special opportunity to meet Doc, this week. Check out the info below. We'll see you there!
You can meet Doc Gooden! Sports Fan Promotions is providing fans with an opportunity to meet legendary New York Yankees and New York Mets pitcher Doc Gooden on Thursday, August 22 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The event is being held at Locker Room Sports, 76 Main St. in Woodbridge, NJ 07095. Autographs are just $25 for any item, with inscriptions for $10!
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