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Career Paths: Dwight Gooden

Career Paths
Marcus' Memoirs


New York Mets 1984-1994

Drafted 5th overall in 1982, Gooden shot up the Mets minor league ladder, making the opening day roster in 1984. At age 19, he was an All Star, compiled a 17-9 record, 2.60 ERA and won NL Rookie of the Year honors.  Gooden’s 1985 season was one of the greatest ever; he won the pitcher’s Triple Crown with a 24-4 record, microscopic 1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts, easily capturing the NL Cy Young, earning all 24 first place votes.  Although he won 17 games in 1986 and helped the Mets win the World Series, Gooden would never again capture the magic of the 1985 season - his only 20 win campaign. 


Despite flashes of brilliance, the rest of Gooden’s tenure with the Mets was marred by controversy and drug-related issues.  He won 18 games in 1988 and helped New York reach the NLCS, but the team fell in 7 games to the Dodgers and never achieved the dynasty status many had predicted.  After going 19-7 in 1990, Gooden’s production began to dip.  He was suspended for 60 days after testing positive for cocaine in 1994 and then for the entire 1995 season when he tested positive a second time during the suspension.


A free agent following the 1994 season, his days with the Mets were over, but his stay in New York was not.  Following his reinstatement, Gooden was signed by the Yankees on February 20, 1996.



New York Yankees 1996-1997

Gooden posted his last double figure win season in 1996, going 11-7, including a no-hitter on May 14 vs. Seattle.  He helped the team win the AL East, but was left off the postseason roster due to fatigue.  He returned to the Bronx in 1997 and posted a 9-5 mark in 19 starts.  He made one start in the ALDS vs. Cleveland, but did not factor in the decision.  A free agent following the season, he signed with the Indians on December 7.






Cleveland Indians 1998-1999

Gooden went 11-10 in two seasons in Cleveland, helping the Tribe win two division titles.  He struggled in the 1998 playoffs and was left off the post-season roster in 1999.  He signed a free agent contract with Houston in January 2000.











Houston Astros 2000

Gooden's stint in Houston consisted of one game.  He allowed 4 earned runs in 4 innings and was purchased by Tampa Bay on April 13.














Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2000

The Tampa native got off to a 2-0 start, but lost his next 3 starts and was released on May 25. He was signed by the Yankees on June 11.













New York Yankees 2000

Doc returned to the Yanks as a middle reliever and emergency starter and picked up his third ring in 2000.  The 35-year-old went 4-2 with a 3.36 ERA in 18 appearances (5 starts) in what would be his final big league season. He retired during spring training 2001 when it became apparent he would not make the roster. 


Gooden finished his career with a 194-112 record, 3.51 ERA, and 2,293 strikeouts. Half of his wins came before his 25th birthday.  When Gooden became Hall of Fame eligible in 2006, he received just 3.3% of the vote and was removed from the ballot.


Dwight Gooden @ Wikipedia

Dwight Gooden @

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