This Sunday the Mets will have a long over-due celebration and induction ceremony for four men who were an integral part in the great Mets teams of the mid-late 1980's; the Mets will honor Frank Cashen (GM), Davey Johnson (manager), Darryl Strawberry (RF) and Dwight Gooden (RSP) by inducting them into the Mets Hall Of Fame.
We will report more about this weekend's events as the day draws near. This post is about something different: about the caring by the Mets towards one of their problemed stars. My partner and I have hammered the Mets relentlessly in the past about their refusal to honor THEIR HISTORY. All I have to say is NICE JOB JEFF!
On Saturday the Mets are having a Hall Of Fame Charity Luncheon where fans can meet the soon to be Met Hall Of Famers, along with other Mets Hall Of Famers. Tickets are still available at 718-803-4074 or by going to mets.com/halloffame. Such stars as Davey, Frank, Dwight, Darryl, Keith, Buddy, and others will be there.
The highlight, in my opinion, is the Mets will sign Gooden to a one day contract so that he can retire a Met. Great job! I have never liked Gooden's off the field behavior, and always liked Darling better as a player, but to have lived through that era, there was not a more electric pitcher I've ever seen than Dwight Gooden over that five year period. In that period he was better than Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Kerry Wood, Josh Beckett - Gooden was the best, most over-powering pitcher I've ever seen over that small period of time. Stats don't show it. Watching him every fifth day did.
Over the years, the Mets tried to get Gooden involved with the team. Admittedly, Gooden said he wasn't ready, so he would refuse invitations. Said Gooden:
“I was upset with myself, everything that took place. I didn’t know how I’d be accepted. I felt I let fans down, the organization down. I hadn’t been back since ’94. It just never worked out. At Shea Goodbye, I was iffy whether I could go. Now I see what I’ve been missing all the time. I wish I spent more time there.” __________________________________________________________
Signing Gooden to that one day contract so that he can retire a Met is a great job by the Mets organization. Yes, he pitched his only no-hitter as a dreaded Yankee, won World Series as a Yankee (as well as a Met), but he is a Met. Not a Yankee, not a Devil Ray, not an Astro, not an Indian. He is a Met, and on Saturday he will be honored as such.
In closing, the former Mets Ace said: ________________________________________________________
“Even with the numbers I had, it still doesn’t seem real. It’s definitely a closing to my career. Obviously, the stuff off the field shortened my career, but this gives me a lot of closure, makes you feel you did do enough.
“The biggest thing is I get to share it with the fans that meant so much to me. Coming back for Shea Goodbye, the ovation was overwhelming. I get teary-eyed thinking about it. Sunday will be my way of saying thank you to the fans, my family. Even though I’m the one going in, a piece of them is going in with me.”________________________________________________________
To read about Gooden and the Mets HOF weekend, check out Steve Popper's great article.