Doc Gooden releases a new memoir
The revealing look into the life and career of the former pitcher chronicles the remarkable highs and lows of Gooden's career, including the glory of winning the World Series and the despair during his battle with addiction.
Gooden broke into Major League Baseball with the New York Mets in 1984 as a hard-throwing righty. His greatest season -- and one of baseball's historic performances by a pitcher -- came in 1985 when Gooden posted a 24-4 record and 1.53 ERA en route to the National League Cy Young award. With Gooden as their ace, the Mets went on to win the World Series in 1986.
At the top of his game, Gooden was already battling his own demons. A passage in the book tells the story of Gooden missing the famous Canyon of Heroes parade in Manhattan celebrating the Mets World Series victory.
"As my teammates rode through the Canyon of Heroes, I was alone in my bed in Roslyn, Long Island, with the curtains closed and the TV on, missing what should have been the greatest morning of my life.
I'd spent all night in a sketchy housing project apartment near the Roosevelt Field mall, getting wasted with a bunch of people I hardly even knew. I was drinking shots of vodka. I was snorting lines of cocaine. And more lines of cocaine -- and more lines of cocaine. I didn't leave the drug party until after the sun came up. As my teammates toasted our triumph, I was nursing a head-splitting coke-and-booze hangover, too spent, too paranoid, and too mad at myself to drag my sorry butt to my own victory parade.
I had never felt so lonely before.
I hope I never feel that way again."
After years of ups and downs, Gooden would seek redemption with the New York Yankees in 1996. In the book, Gooden discusses the inspiration behind the no-hitter he threw for the Yankees before winning two more World Series championships.
Also detailed in the book are Gooden's close friendships with baseball's greats Pete Rose, George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre and nephew Gary Sheffield and the troubled relationship Gooden had with former teammate Darryl Strawberry.
Gooden retired from baseball in 2000 with a 194-112 record and 3.51 ERA.
Doc: A Memoir, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.