Dwight Gooden debuted in 1984 with the Mets and quickly burst onto the scene as one of the best pitchers in baseball. He won the ’84 National League Rookie of the Year Award, then followed up by winning the NL Cy Young Award in ’85. Though he would go on to post a few more great seasons, his career would ultimately be derailed by an addiction to alcohol and cocaine.
Gooden tested positive for cocaine in spring training ahead of the 1987 season as well as in the strike-shortened ’94 season. In 2006, Gooden was arrested for violating his probation and showed up high on cocaine to a meeting with his probation officer.
Gooden’s battle with cocaine continues, and former teammate Darryl Strawberry is doing everything he can to help Gooden, according to a report from John Harper of the New York Daily News. Strawberry said, “I have to try something before he’s dead.”
Strawberry continued, “He’s a complete junkie-addict. I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies.”
“The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him,” Strawberry said.
Harper has more details about Gooden’s cocaine habit. It’s tough to read. And it sounds like there aren’t too many people left in Gooden’s corner to help him. Strawberry has battled cocaine addiction over the years as well, so the fact that he has so adamantly gone public with this issue shows how few options he feels he has left to help his friend and former teammate. Here’s hoping Gooden can get the help he needs.