What Could Have Been: The Story of Daryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc” Gooden
In the 1980s there was a great phenomenon in Major League Baseball with the New York Mets, and it was all because of two players. They were both destined to go to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. Their names were Daryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc" Gooden. Both of these superstars were teammates and had one thing in common: they couldn’t handle the big time in New York City. Strawberry was from Los Angeles and Gooden was from Tampa.
Daryl Strawberry played for the Mets from 1983-1990. Strawberry was an 8x All-Star, 4x World Series champion, NL Rookie of the Year in 1983, NL home run leader, and a New York Mets Hall of Famer.
Dwight “ Doc” Gooden was nicknamed “Dr. K” and “Doc.” He played from 1984-1994 with the New York Mets. He was a 4x All-Star, 3x World Series champion, NL Cy Young Winner 1985, Triple Crown, NL Rookie of the year in 1984, and he pitched a no-hitter on May 14, 1996 with the New York Yankees.
Both great ball players played with multiple teams. Yankee owner George Steinbrenner gave both troubled players a chance to redeem their careers with the Yankees. Plus, George wanted to stick it to the rival Mets whom both players achieved greatness with. Now, the story gets very bleak and intriguing.
Strawberry and Gooden like I said were both destined for the Major League Hall of Fame. But drugs, booze and women wrecked their careers and lives at the same time. Both guys were just haunted by their greatness on the diamond, and they couldn’t shake their demons.
Both superstars were suspended by baseball multiple times for flunking drug tests and everything else you weren’t supposed to be doing. These guys were incarcerated multiple times too. It was to the point where I could be writing a book about their exploits and not just a post. You get it! Two great players who were teammates and friends. Both players' lives and careers were derailed by drugs and booze. It's starting to sound like a sad story, but stick with me because it does have a great ending. Daryl Strawberry got his life back on track and has a recovery center and help facility, and Gooden has stayed clean too.
But, you have to think, what could have been? They were both just fabulous when they performed. If these two superstar players would have not been possessed by addiction, what could they have achieved during their careers?