Dwight Gooden

Dwight Eugene "Doc" Gooden (born November 16, 1964), nicknamed "Dr. K", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Gooden pitched from 1984 to 1994 and from 1996 to 2000 for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In a career spanning 430 games, he pitched ​2,800 23 innings and posted a win–loss record of 194–112, with a 3.51 earned run average (ERA), and 2,293 strikeouts.

Gooden made his MLB debut in 1984 for the Mets and quickly established himself as one of the league's most talented pitchers; as a 19-year-old rookie, he earned the first of four All-Star selections, won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year Award, and led the league in strikeouts. In 1985, he won the NL Cy Young Award and achieved the pitching Triple Crown, compiling a 24–4 record and a league-leading 1.53 ERA, 268 strikeouts, and 16 complete games. The following season, he helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series. Gooden remained an effective pitcher in subsequent years, but his career was ultimately derailed by cocaine and alcohol addiction. After posting a losing record in each season from 1992 to 1994, Gooden was suspended for the 1995 season after a positive drug test while serving a prior suspension. As a member of the Yankees in 1996, Gooden pitched a no-hitter and helped the team on its path to a World Series championship. He pitched four additional years for as many teams, but never approached the success of his peak years with his Mets. In 2010, Gooden was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.

Gooden's troubles with addiction continued after his retirement from baseball and resulted in several arrests. He was incarcerated for seven months in 2006 after violating the terms of his probation.

Dwight Gooden
A portrait of Gooden
Gooden with the New York Mets in 1986
Pitcher
Born: November 16, 1964 (age 54)
Tampa, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 7, 1984, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 2000, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record194–112
Earned run average3.51
Strikeouts2,293
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Career

A native of Tampa, Florida, Dwight Gooden was drafted in the first round in 1982, the fifth player taken overall. He spent one season in the minors, in which he led the Class-A Carolina League in wins, strikeouts and ERA while playing for the Lynchburg Mets. Gooden had 300 strikeouts in 191 innings, a performance which convinced Triple-A Tidewater Tides manager, future Mets skipper Davey Johnson, to bring him up for the Tides' post season, believing that Gooden was capable of making the leap to the major leagues.

1984–1994: New York Mets

1984

Gooden made his major-league debut on April 7, 1984 with the New York Mets at the age of 19. He quickly developed a reputation with his 98 MPH fastball and sweeping curveball, which was given the superlative nickname of "Lord Charles", in contrast with "Uncle Charlie", a common nickname for a curveball. He was dubbed "Dr. K", (by analogy with basketball's "Dr. J", Julius Erving, and also in reference to the letter "K" being the standard abbreviation for strikeout), which soon became shortened to "Doc". Gooden soon attracted a rooting section at Shea Stadium that called itself "The K Korner", and would hang up cards with a red "K" after each of his strikeouts.

When he took the mound in the fifth inning on July 10, 1984, Gooden became the youngest player to appear in an All-Star Game. He complemented this distinction by striking out the side, AL batters: Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon, and Alvin Davis. Setting up Gooden, NL Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela had already struck out the side in the fourth, putting down future Hall of Famers Dave Winfield, Reggie Jackson, and George Brett. The two pitchers' combined performance broke an All-Star game record, coincidentally on its celebrated 50th Anniversary—Carl Hubbell's five consecutive strikeouts in 1934.

That season, Gooden won 17 games, the most by a 19-year-old since Wally Bunker won 19 games in 1964 and the second most for a Mets rookie, after Jerry Koosman's 19 wins in 1968. Gooden won eight of his last nine starts; in his final three starts of the 1984 season, he had 41 strikeouts and 1 walk. Gooden led the league in strikeouts, his 276 breaking Herb Score's rookie record of 245 in 1955, and also set the record for most strikeouts in three consecutive starts with 43. As a 19-year-old rookie, Gooden set the then-major league record for strikeouts per 9 innings, with 11.39, breaking Sam McDowell's record of 10.71 in 1965. He was voted the Rookie of the Year, giving the Mets two consecutive winners of that award (Darryl Strawberry had been the recipient in 1983). Gooden also became the third Mets pitcher to win the award, joining Tom Seaver (1967) and Jon Matlack (1972). Gooden finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting, even though he had more NL wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, and a lower ERA than the NL winner Rick Sutcliffe.[1][2][3]

1985

DwightGoodenSF 2
Gooden with the Mets

In 1985, Gooden pitched one of the most statistically dominating single seasons in baseball history. Leading Major League Baseball with 24 wins, 268 strikeouts, and a 1.53 ERA (the second lowest in the live-ball era, trailing only Bob Gibson's 1.12 in 1968) Gooden earned the major leagues' pitching Triple Crown. He led the National League in complete games (16) and innings pitched (276​23). From his second start onward, Gooden's ERA never rose above 2.00.[4] At age 20, he was the youngest pitcher of the last half-century to have an ERA+ above 200. Gooden's ERA+ was 229; 23-year-old Dean Chance (200 ERA+ in 1964) was the only other pitcher under the age of 25 to do so.

From August 31 through September 16, Gooden threw 31 consecutive scoreless innings over four games, and through October 2, threw 49 consecutive innings over seven games without allowing an earned run. The highest "quality start" percentage for a given season was recorded by Dwight Gooden, who had 33 of them in 35 games in 1985.[5]

In September, he pitched back-to-back nine-inning games allowing no runs, but received no-decisions in both games. In his four losses, Gooden allowed 26 hits and five walks in 28 innings, with 28 strikeouts and a 2.89 ERA. The Mets finished second in the 1985 NL East, and teammates jokingly blamed Gooden for having lost 4 games, thereby mathematically costing them the division title. That year, Gooden became one of only 14 African-American pitchers ever to win 20 games, the most recent of whom was CC Sabathia. Gooden became the youngest-ever recipient of the Cy Young Award and Pitcher of the Year Award. There was even media speculation about Gooden's Hall of Fame prospects. That November, Gooden turned 21.

Travelers descending the steps of the side entrance to Manhattan's Pennsylvania Station were greeted by an enormous photograph of Gooden in mid-motion that recorded his season's strikeout totals as the year progressed. Likewise, those strolling the streets of Manhattan's West Side could gaze up at a 102 feet tall Sports Illustrated mural of Gooden painted on the side of a building at 351 West 42nd Street in Times Square, whose caption asked "How does it feel to look down the barrel of a loaded gun?"[6][7][8][9]

While Gooden would be an effective pitcher for several more seasons, he never again approached such heights. The year 1985 would prove to be the only 20-win season of Gooden's 16-year career. Many reasons have been offered for his decline: early overuse, cocaine addiction, the league's hitters catching on to some of his pitches (notably a fastball that rose out of the strike zone, which hitters increasingly avoided), or the influence of Mets pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, who convinced Gooden to change his pitching motion in the hopes of prolonging his career.

In a span of 50 starts from August 11, 1984, to May 6, 1986, Gooden posted a record of 37–5 with a 1.38 ERA; he had 412 strikeouts and 90 walks in 406 innings.

1986

Dwight Gooden 1986 by Barry Colla
Gooden in 1986

In 1986, he compiled a 17–6 record. Gooden's 200 strikeouts were fifth in the National League, but more than a hundred behind the league leader, Mike Scott of the Houston Astros.

In another All-Star record pertaining to youth, in 1986 Gooden became the youngest pitcher to start an All-Star Game at 21 years, 241 days of age.

Gooden was the Mets ace going into the playoffs, and his postseason started promisingly. He lost a 1–0 duel with Scott in the NLCS opener, then got a no-decision in Game 5, pitching 10 innings of one-run ball. He was substantially worse in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, not getting past the 5th inning in either of his two starts. Nevertheless, the Mets won four of the five non-Gooden starts and the championship. In an early red flag, Gooden failed to attend the team's victory parade (he would admit after his retirement that during the parade, he had been using drugs at his dealer's apartment).[10]

Early drug problems and injuries

Gooden was arrested on December 13, 1986, in Tampa, Florida after fighting with police.[11] A report clearing police of misconduct in the arrest helped start the Tampa riots of 1987.[12] Rumors of substance abuse began to arise, which were confirmed when Gooden tested positive for cocaine during spring training in 1987. He entered a rehabilitation center on April 1, 1987, to avoid being suspended and did not make his first start of the season until June 5. Despite missing a third of the season, Gooden won 15 games for the 1987 Mets.

In 1988 he was featured heavily in the William Goldman and Mike Lupica book "Wait Till Next Year" which looked at the impact Gooden's drug taking and enforced missed games had on The Mets over the whole 1987 season.

1988

In 1988, Gooden recorded an 18–9 record as the Mets returned to the postseason. In the first game of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gooden was matched against Orel Hershiser, who had just finished the regular season with a 59-inning scoreless streak. Gooden pitched well, allowing just 4 hits and recording 10 strikeouts, but left after seven innings trailing 2–0. In Game 4, Gooden entered the ninth inning with a 4–2 lead and the chance to give his Mets a commanding 3–1 advantage in the series. But he allowed a game-tying home run to Mike Scioscia, and the Dodgers eventually went on to win the game in 12 innings, and the series as well, 4 games to 3.

The game remains one of the great disappointments in Mets franchise history. The 1980s Mets were considered a dynasty in the making; after they underperformed, some looked to this game as perhaps the key moment of the dynasty that was not.

1989–1991

Gooden suffered a shoulder injury in 1989, which reduced him to a 9–4 record in 17 starts. He rebounded in 1990, posting a 19–7 season with 223 strikeouts, second only to teammate David Cone's 233. However, after another injury in 1991, Gooden's career declined significantly. Though drug abuse is commonly blamed for Gooden's pitching troubles, some analysts point to his early workload. It has been estimated that Gooden threw over 10,800 pitches from 1983 to 1985, a period in which he was 18 to 20 years old.[13] Gooden hurled 276 innings in his historic 1985 season; as of the end of the 2017 season, only two subsequent pitchers have thrown that many innings (Charlie Hough, a knuckleballer, and Roger Clemens, both in 1987). By the time he reached his 21st birthday, Gooden had already accumulated 928 strikeouts between the minor and major leagues.

On August 9, 1990, Phillies pitcher Pat Combs struck Gooden in the knee with the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth inning. Gooden, seeing the pitch as retaliation for him having hit two Phillies batters, charged the mound, setting off a bench-clearing brawl. Gooden was one of six players ejected.[14]

Gooden was accused of rape along with teammates Vince Coleman and Daryl Boston in 1991; however, charges were never pressed.[15]

1992–1995

1992 was Gooden's first-ever losing season (10–13); it was also the first time he had lost as many as 10 decisions. 1993 was no improvement, as Gooden finished 12–15. During the 1993 season, Sports Illustrated ran a cover story on Gooden entitled, "From Phenom to Phantom."

During the strike-shortened 1994 season at age 29, Gooden had a 3–4 record with a 6.31 ERA when he tested positive for cocaine use and was suspended for 60 days. He tested positive again while serving the suspension, and was further suspended for the entire 1995 season. The day after receiving the second suspension, Gooden's wife, Monica, found him in his bedroom with a loaded gun to his head.[16]

In July 1995, the famous longstanding Dwight Gooden Times Square mural was replaced with a Charles Oakley mural. The Dwight Gooden mural was a part of the NYC landscape for over ten years.[17]

Kirk Radomski, the New York Mets clubhouse attendant whose allegations are at the base of the Mitchell Report later claimed that he took two urine tests for Gooden during the 1990s. Gooden denies the allegations.[18]

1996–2000: New York Yankees and three other teams

Gooden signed with the New York Yankees in 1996 as a free agent. After pitching poorly in April and nearly getting released, he was sent down to the minors where he worked on his mechanics and soon returned with a shortened wind-up. He no-hit the Seattle Mariners 2–0 at Yankee Stadium on May 14;[19] the no-hitter was the first by a Yankee right-hander since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and the first by a Yankee right-hander during the regular season since Allie Reynolds' second no-hitter in 1951. He ended the 1996 season at 11–7, his first winning record since 1991, and showed flashes of his early form, going 10–2 with a 3.09 ERA from April 27 through August 12. He proved to be a valuable asset for the Yankees that season as David Cone was out until early September with an aneurysm in his shoulder.

Gooden was left off the 1996 postseason roster due to injury and fatigue. In 1997, he posted a respectable 9–5 record with a 4.91 ERA. He had one start for the Yankees in the 1997 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians; coincidentally, he again faced his 1988 postseason nemesis Orel Hershiser. Gooden left Game 4 during the sixth inning with a 2–1 lead, but the Yankee bullpen faltered in the 8th, and Gooden was left with the no-decision.

Gooden signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998 and enjoyed moderate success, going 8–6 with a 3.76 ERA. He started two games for the Indians in the 1998 post-season, including one against his former team, the Yankees, both of which ended in no-decisions. He remained with the Indians in 1999 but did not match his respectable numbers in 1998, going 3–4 with a 6.26 ERA.

In 1999, Gooden released an autobiography titled Heat, in which he discussed his struggles with alcohol and cocaine abuse.

Gooden began the 2000 season with two sub-par stints with the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays but found himself back with the Yankees mid-season. He would go on to have a respectable second stint with the Yankees, going 4–2 with a 3.36 ERA as a spot starter and long reliever, including a win against his former team, the Mets, on July 8 in the regular-season Subway series. He made one relief appearance in each of the first two rounds of the playoffs, both times with the Yankees trailing. Gooden did not pitch in the 2000 World Series against the Mets, though 2000 would be the third time Gooden received a World Series ring in his career.

Postseason career

Gooden failed to win a postseason game, going 0–4 in the course of nine postseason starts over eight series.[20] In the 1986 National League Championship Series, however, he had an earned run average of only 1.06 after starting two games and allowing just two earned runs in 17 innings pitched.[20]

Retirement

Dwight Gooden 2008-09-28
Dwight Gooden on September 28, 2008

Gooden retired in 2001 after he was cut by the Yankees in spring training, ending his career with a record of 194–112. More than half of those wins came before age 25.

Gooden appeared on the 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. He was named on only 17, or 3.3 percent, of the 520 voting writers' ballots, and, having been named on less than 5 percent of the total ballots, was removed from future HOF consideration.

After retiring, Gooden took a job in the Yankees' front office. He acted as the go-between man during free agent contract negotiations between his nephew, Gary Sheffield, and the Yankees prior to the 2004 season. In July 2009 he was hired as a vice president of community relations for Atlantic League's Newark Bears. He left the post in November of the same year.[21]

Gooden appeared at the Shea Stadium final celebration on September 28, 2008, the first time he had appeared at Shea Stadium since 2000. On April 13, 2009, he made an appearance at the newly opened Citi Field. Gooden spontaneously signed his name to a wall on the inside of the stadium. The Mets initially indicated that they would remove the signature, but soon decided instead to move the part of the wall with Gooden's writing to a different area of the stadium and acquire additional signatures from other popular ex-players. On August 1, 2010, he was officially inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame along with Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen, and Davey Johnson. He also threw out the ceremonial first pitch on the same day to Gary Carter.

VH1 Network announced June 11, 2011 that he would be a patient in VH1's fifth season of the reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Legal troubles

On February 20, 2002, Gooden was arrested in his native Tampa and charged with driving while intoxicated, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, and driving with a suspended license. He was arrested again in January 2003 for driving with a suspended license. On March 12, 2005, Gooden was again arrested in Tampa for punching his girlfriend after she threw a telephone at his head. He was released two days later on a misdemeanor battery charge.

Troubles continued to mount for Gooden when, on August 23, 2005, he drove away from a traffic stop in Tampa after being pulled over for driving erratically. He gave the officer his driver's license, twice refused to leave his car, and then drove away. The officer remarked in his report that Gooden's eyes were glassy and bloodshot, his speech was slurred, and a "strong" odor of alcohol was present on him. Three days after the traffic stop, Gooden turned himself in to police.[22]

Gooden was again arrested in March 2006 for violating his probation, after he arrived high on cocaine at a scheduled meeting with his probation officer, David R. Stec.[23] He chose prison over extended probation, perhaps in the hope that incarceration would separate him from the temptations of his addiction.[24] He entered prison on April 17, 2006. On May 31, Gooden said in an interview from prison, "I can't come back here. [...] I'd rather get shot than come back here. [...] If I don't get the message this time, I never will."[25] Gooden was released from prison November 9, 2006, after nearly seven months' incarceration and was not placed on further probation.[26]

On the morning of March 24, 2010, Gooden was arrested in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, near his home there after leaving the scene of a traffic accident, having been located nearby and found to be under the influence of an undisclosed controlled substance.[27] He was charged with DWI with a child passenger, leaving the scene of an accident, and other motor vehicle violations.[28] Gooden was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child because a child was with him at the time of the accident.[29] He later pleaded guilty to child endangerment, received five years probation, and was ordered to undergo outpatient drug treatment.[30]

Gooden was arrested for cocaine possession in Holmdel Township, New Jersey on June 7, 2019. Gooden had been stopped by police for driving too slowly and having illegaly tinted windows when they discovered two baggies suspected of containing cocaine. Gooden was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence and faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.[31]

See also

References

  1. ^ "NL Cy Young Voting". Baseball-Reference.com.
  2. ^ "Dwight Gooden Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com.
  3. ^ "Rick Sutcliffe Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com.
  4. ^ "Dwight Gooden 1985 Pitching Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  5. ^ Quality start
  6. ^ Coffey, Wayne (November 14, 2009). "Twenty-five years after his phenomenal rookie season, Dwight Gooden takes aim at his demons". New York: NY Daily News. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  7. ^ Higbie, Andrea (May 4, 1997). "Young Artist Seeks Brush With Subject – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "A fading picture". The Sporting News. Find Articles. November 14, 1994. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Salvatore, Bryan Di (August 1, 2011). "The Talk of the Town: Doc". The New Yorker. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Gooden missed Mets' 1986 parade doing drugs". espn.com.
  11. ^ "Newspaper Archives". St. Petersburg Times.
  12. ^ "Newspaper Archives". St. Petersburg Times.
  13. ^ "Ten Things I Didn't Know Last Week". The Hardball Times. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "In a Bruising Outing, the Mets Rally and Win". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  15. ^ Claire Smith (April 2, 1992). "Baseball; Mets Rape Case Transferred To the Florida State Attorney". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2011.
  16. ^ "Gooden Discloses Near Suicide Attempt". Apnewsarchive.com. June 21, 1996. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Higbie, Andrea (July 16, 1995). "NOTICED; Gooden Is Benched Again". New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  18. ^ David Justice, Dwight Gooden Deny Kirk Radomski's Allegations ESPN.com, January 27, 2009
  19. ^ "Gooden Pitches No-Hitter as Yankees Top Mariners, 2–0". The New York Times.
  20. ^ a b "Dwight Gooden Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
  21. ^ Police: Former Yankees and Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden arrested on alleged DWI with 5-year-old son in the car NorthJersey.com, March 24, 2010
  22. ^ "Gooden arrested after turning self in on felony charges – MLB – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. August 26, 2005. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  23. ^ "Gooden arrested for violating terms of probation – MLB – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. March 14, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  24. ^ "Doc's savior sadly could be time spent behind bars – MLB – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. April 6, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  25. ^ "Gooden says he'd rather be shot than jailed again – MLB – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. May 31, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  26. ^ "Cy Young winner Gooden released from Florida prison – MLB – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. November 10, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  27. ^ Wills, Kerry; and McShane, Larry. "Ex-Mets star Dwight Gooden not ready to talk about drug charge stemming from crash with son in car", Daily News (New York), March 25, 2010. Accessed January 28, 2011. "'When the time is right, I will,' Gooden said outside his home in Franklin Lakes, N.J. 'Now is not the time. Sorry.'"
  28. ^ "Dwight Gooden Charged With DWI (Update)". Deadspin.com. March 24, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  29. ^ Staff, By the CNN Wire. "Police: Ex-Mets pitcher arrested, accused of DUI with child in car - CNN.com". cnn.com.
  30. ^ "Dwight Gooden gets probation in NJ DUI case". Fox News. April 15, 2011.
  31. ^ Draper, Kevin. "Dwight Gooden Arrested on Drug Charges in New Jersey". www.nytimes.com. New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2019.

External links

1984 Major League Baseball season

The 1984 Major League Baseball season started with a 9-game winning streak by eventual World Series champions Detroit Tigers who started the season with 35 wins and 5 losses and never relinquished the first place lead.

1984 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1984 season was the 23rd regular season for the Mets. They went 90–72 and finished in second place in the National League East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1984 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1984 throughout the world.

1985 Major League Baseball season

The 1985 Major League Baseball season ended with the Kansas City Royals defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh game of the I-70 World Series. Bret Saberhagen, the regular season Cy Young Award winner, was named MVP of the Series. The National League won the All-Star Game for the second straight year.

The League Championship Series playoffs were expanded to a best-of-seven format beginning this year, and both leagues ended up settling their pennant winners in more than five games, with the Royals beating the Toronto Blue Jays in seven games, and the Cardinals beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.

1985 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1985 season was the 24th regular season for the Mets. They went 98-64 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played their home games at Shea Stadium.

1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 57th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 15, 1986, at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the home of the Houston Astros of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3-2 and ended a streak where the NL won 13 of the last 14 games. Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens was named the Most Valuable Player.

1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1988 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 59th playing of the "Midsummer Classic" between Major League Baseball's American League (AL) and National League All-Star teams. The All-Star Game was held on July 12, 1988, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of the NL's Cincinnati Reds.

The game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 2-1. Terry Steinbach, a catcher for the AL's Oakland Athletics, won the All-Star game's most valuable player award. Steinbach was credited with both of the AL's two runs in the game. Frank Viola of the Minnesota Twins was the winning pitcher.

Bob Ojeda

Robert Michael Ojeda (born December 17, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. Ojeda is best remembered as an anchor in the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets starting rotation (along with Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling), and for being the lone survivor of a March 22, 1993 boating accident that killed fellow Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews. He is also a former pre- and post-game studio analyst for Mets broadcasts.

Bryan Oelkers

Bryan Alois Oelkers (born March 11, 1961 in Zaragoza) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He attended Pattonville High School in Maryland Heights, Missouri and college at Wichita State. He batted and threw left-handed. He was drafted in the first round (4th pick overall) by the Minnesota Twins, one spot ahead of Dwight Gooden. Oelkers played two years in the majors — 1983 with the Minnesota Twins and 1986 with the Cleveland Indians. In 45 career games, he had a 3–8 record. In 103.1 innings, he allowed 126 hits with an ERA of 6.01.

He is the first of four Major Leaguers from Spain in history, along with Al Cabrera, Al Pardo, and Danny Rios.

Gary Sheffield

Gary Antonian Sheffield (born November 18, 1968) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder who played with eight teams from 1988 to 2009. He currently works as a sports agent.

For most of his career, Sheffield played right field, though he has also played left field, third base, shortstop, and a handful of games at first base. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and the New York Mets. Sheffield was a first-round pick of the Brewers, who selected him sixth overall in the 1986 amateur draft after a standout prep career at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida. He bats and throws right-handed.

Sheffield hit his 500th home run on April 17, 2009. As of his last game, Sheffield ranked second among all active players in walks (1,475), third in runs (1,636), fourth in RBIs (1,676), fifth in hits (2,689) and home runs (509), and sixth in hit by pitches (135).

Sheffield's batting swing was an exemplary mix of savage speed and pinpoint control. Despite his high home run total, Sheffield only topped 80 strikeouts twice in 22 seasons, while finishing his career among the all-time top 20 walks leaders. Because of his combination of skill, sportswriter Joe Posnanski wrote, "I can't imagine there has ever been a scarier hitter to face." His first manager Tom Trebelhorn said, "Gary can turn on a 38-caliber bullet.”He is the nephew of Dwight Gooden. After retirement, he started to work as an agent. His clients include former reliever Jason Grilli.Sheffield is alleged by the Mitchell Report, and has been implicated in the 2004 BALCO scandal, with respect to the use of performance enhancing drugs during his MLB career.

Generation K (baseball)

Generation K were a baseball trio of young starting pitchers in the New York Mets organization in 1995, consisting of Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen, and Paul Wilson. Generation X was a hot topic in American media during the mid-1990s and the nickname came from the use of K to denote a strikeout in baseball scorekeeping. The trio were highly regarded and were expected to lead the club back to the top of the National League East standings for the first time since the end of the Dwight Gooden/Darryl Strawberry era. The prospect of their success drew comparions to past Mets pitching stars such as Seaver/ Koosman/ Matlack and Gooden/ Darling/ Fernandez. All three players succumbed to pitching-related injuries within a year, and eventually only Isringhausen would have a productive major-league career, primarily as a closer for the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals.

Kingsport Mets

The Kingsport Mets are a Minor League Baseball team of the Appalachian League and the Rookie affiliate of the New York Mets. They are located in Kingsport, Tennessee, and are named for the team's major league affiliate. The team plays its home games at Hunter Wright Stadium which opened in 1995 and has a seating capacity of 2,500. The Mets previously played at Dobyns-Bennett High School. In 1983, while Dobyns-Bennett's field was being renovated, the team temporarily moved to Sarasota, Florida, and played in the Gulf Coast League as the Gulf Coast League Mets.

List of New York Mets Opening Day starting pitchers

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Flushing, Queens, in New York City. They play in the National League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The New York Mets have used 27 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 58 seasons. The 27 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 29 wins, 13 losses (29–13) and 16 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

Tom Seaver holds the Mets' record for most Opening Day starts with 11, and has an Opening Day record of 6–0. He also has the most starts in Shea Stadium, the Mets' home ballpark from 1964 through 2008. Seaver and Dwight Gooden hold the Mets' record for most Opening Day wins with six each. Al Jackson and Roger Craig share the worst winning percentage as the Opening Day starting pitcher with a record of 0–2.

From 1968 through 1983, Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers went 16 consecutive years without a loss. During this period, Tom Seaver won six starts with five no decisions, Craig Swan won two starts, and Jerry Koosman, Pat Zachry and Randy Jones won one start apiece. Furthermore, in the 31-year period from 1968 through 1998, Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers only lost two games. During that period, they won 19 games with 10 no decisions. The only losses during this period were by Mike Torrez in 1984 and by Dwight Gooden in 1990.

Overall, Mets Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 0–1 at the Polo Grounds, a 12–5 record with five no decisions at Shea Stadium and a 3–0 record with three no decisions at Citi Field. In addition, although the Mets were nominally the home team in 2000, the game was played in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Mike Hampton started the game in Tokyo and lost, making the Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record 15–7, and their away record 14–6. The Mets went on to play in the World Series in 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000 and 2015, and won the 1969 and 1986 World Series championship games. Tom Seaver (1969 and 1973), Dwight Gooden (1986), Mike Hampton (2000) and Bartolo Colón (2015) were the Opening Day starting pitchers when the Mets played in the World Series, and they had a combined Opening Day record of 3–1 with one no decision.

List of New York Mets first-round draft picks

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball franchise based in New York City. They play in the National League East division. Since the institution of Major League Baseball's Rule 4 Draft, the Mets have selected 61 players in its first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is Major League Baseball's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, and the team that had the worst record receives the first pick. In addition, teams that lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. The First-Year Player Draft is unrelated to the 1961 expansion draft in which the Mets initially filled their roster.

Of the 62 players picked in the first round by the Mets, 25 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 18 of these were right-handed, while 7 were left-handed. 17 of the players picked in the initial round were outfielders, while eight shortstops, six catchers, and three third basemen were selected. The team also selected two players at first base and one at second base. 14 of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, while Florida and Texas follow, with nine and five players, respectively.Four Mets' first-round picks have won championships with the franchise. No first-round picks were on the 1969 championship team. Outfielders Lee Mazzilli (1973) and Darryl Strawberry (1980), shortstop Wally Backman (1977), and pitcher Dwight Gooden (1982) played in the 1986 World Series for the Mets' second championship team. Three first-round draft picks have gone on to win the Rookie of the Year Award with the Mets: Jon Matlack in 1972, Strawberry in 1983, and Gooden in 1984. Gooden went on to win the Cy Young Award in 1985, his second season, after placing second in the voting his rookie year. Gooden is also the only first-round draft pick of the Mets to make the All-Star team in his rookie season.The Mets have made 11 selections in the supplemental round of the draft. They have also made the first overall selection five times (1966, 1968, 1980, 1984, and 1994), tied for the most such picks with the San Diego Padres. The first of these picks, Steve Chilcott (1966), is one of only two first overall picks (along with Brien Taylor) to never play in the major leagues. The Mets have had 18 compensatory picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the prior off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. One player, George Ambrow (1970), did not sign with the Mets after he was drafted but they received no compensation pick.

List of New York Mets team records

This is a list of team records for the New York Mets baseball team.

New York Mets award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the New York Mets professional baseball team.

Shawn Abner

Shawn Wesley Abner (born June 17, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder who played from 1987 to 1992. He is best known for being chosen first in the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft, although he would go on to have a marginal career.Abner attended high school at Mechanicsburg Area High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was identified by New York Mets scouts as an all-around "can't miss" outfield prospect after his sophomore year. He was also a star at football, and his number "16" was retired by the school for use in both sports. The Mets made him the first pick in the 1984 amateur draft, having had recent draft successes with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, two players who became stars almost immediately despite their young age.

Abner never played a big league game for the Mets. After moving slowly through the minor league system, he was traded after the 1986 season to the San Diego Padres as part of an eight-player swap that sent Kevin Mitchell west in exchange for Kevin McReynolds. He would make his debut on September 8, 1987 in a loss to the Braves. Abner entered in the top of the eighth inning as a pinch hitter for Lance McCullers and flied out to center field in his first major league at bat.The light-hitting Abner played sparingly over the next five seasons for San Diego, being used mostly as a reserve outfielder. He would be traded to the California Angels in 1991 and signed by the Chicago White Sox in 1992. His season with the White Sox was probably his best, as he attained a .279 batting average over 97 games.However, Abner would injure his knee the following season playing basketball before a Triple-A game for the Omaha Royals, and never played in the majors again.

Vance Lovelace

Vance Odell Lovelace (born August 9, 1963 in Tampa, Florida) was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1988 to 1990 for the California Angels and Seattle Mariners. Lovelace was a southpaw power pitcher from Tampa's Hillsborough High School, the same school where Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield played. Lovelace appeared in nine games during his career, all in relief, and finished with a 0-0 career record, and a 5.79 ERA over just 4.2 total innings pitched.

He joined the Dodgers as Vice-President of Player Personnel in 2009 and his position was changed to Special Advisor to the President in 2014, which he held through 2016.

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