Most Memorable Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry Moments
July 30, 2010
As the New York Mets get set to induct Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson into the Mets Hall of Fame this weekend, it got me to thinking about some of my favorite Gooden and Strawberry moments which I discuss in the video below. Also as an added bonus I reached out to some of my fellow Mets bloggers and asked them to share with me their most memorable Doc and Straw moments. See below the video for their responses.
Mets Bloggers Share Their Favorite Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry Moments:
Shannon – Mets Police
On Gooden: Gooden I have no true memory. I have an amalgam of memories that all blend into a generic “Friday night at Shea in 1985, Gooden striking out 10+, and the place NEVER more alive.”
On Strawberry: Strawberry hit the longest home run in the history of mankind on Opening Day in Montreal. It was still going up when he ran out of stadium. Man, if that skinny guy had steroids he would have hit 900.
Anthony De Rosa – Hot Foot Blog
On Gooden: Gooden pitched TEN INNINGS!! Nine hits over 10 innings of shut out ball. The Mets wound up winning, as we all know, in the 12th, with Carters walk off single to drive in Backman. Gooden was the absolute top of his game, coming off a Cy Young, and at this point we saw him as the new Tom Seaver who would become The Franchise over the next ten years. It wasn’t to be, but at the time, Gooden was invincible.
On Strawberry: There are so many moments I remember with Straw. He was the type of player you waited to come to bat and it was ALWAYS a moment. He had the greatest, most elegant swing I had ever seen, the giant swooping golf swing, like he was teeing off. His bombs were not only long but monumentally high because of that sweeping swing. The one I remember the most was in a kind of inconsequential game in 85 against the Cardinals, who at the time, along with The White Rat, were our main rival. He hit an absolute missile off Ken Dayley that stuck the clock above the outfield seats. That home run was so obnoxiously awesome, it still sticks in my mind today.
Michael G. Baron – Metsblog / Mets Photos
On Gooden: My fondest memory of Dwight Gooden was more of a personal one – it was batting practice at Shea, I believe in the summer of 1989. He was shagging flyballs out in LF and he turned to throw me a ball. However, some guy cut in front of me and snagged it, and Doc looked up at him and yelled “you better hand that ball to the boy, or else you won’t even know what hit you”. Sure enough he gave me the ball and walked away, and afterwards, Doc gave me the thumbs up.
On Strawberry: The fondest memory of Darryl Strawberry was going to Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, and seeing him hit the home run late in that game, watching him go up the first base line with his hand up. It was as if he was saying “victory is upon us” and it was ridiculously emotional. It was one of the louder moments I can remember at Shea Stadium as well – even louder than the Ray Knight homer which put them ahead – at least from my memory.
Joe Janish – Mets Today
On Gooden: Tough one. The great memories of Doc have been completely shrouded by his irresponsible behavior and then tenure with the Yankees. Thinking about Doc is like having a good-looking piece of fish on my plate that I realize is rotten when it hits my palate. That said I don’t have a specific event / game that I remember. What I will remember forever is that high knee lift and the incredible fastball that exploded out of his hand, as well as the ridiculously unbelievable “Uncle Charley” curveball that made batters’ knees quiver. That’s the main images I remember — the motion, the fastball, the curve. And those crazy bright orange stripes on the home uniform legs that accentuated his leg kick.
On Strawberry: As for Darryl … my most memorable moment was watching a Mets game on TV with my best friend in 1984 or 1985 … just a random game where Darryl was giving his typical half-hearted effort. I turned to my buddy and said, “you know, Strawberry may be the most gifted player in baseball history. It’s a shame that he doesn’t try more than half the time, because if he did he’d BE the best player in baseball history. Sometimes he has this look in his eye and you can tell he’s decided he’s going to focus — it’s like he can hit a homerun any time he feels like trying to. Like right now, check out the look in his eye …” Two pitches later, Darryl hit a bomb into the upper deck at Shea
Richard D’Egidio – Mets Public Record
On Gooden: After the trade of Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden was the first starting pitcher that was a star from the get go. His starts became events and it reminded me of Mark the Bird and Fernando Valenzuela’s starts.
On Strawberry: Well you have to start with Straw. Homegrown and with comparisons to Ted Williams, there was alot of fanfare with his arrival. And he didn’t disappoint. What I remember was something he did with his glove. I remember him leaping above the fence to rob a HR and also throwing out a runner at third. I don’t know who the opponent was but it was early in his career. We had a five tool guy! He also gave us that threat every time up. You didn’t want to look away when he strode to the plate. He was that kind of hitter. With Straw, Foster and Kingman, I felt we finally had some firepower in the middle of our lineup, even though it took a while for the Mets to finish putting the pieces together. I remember the first time the K corner appeared. It was exciting to have the kind of talent that warranted that emotion form the crowd.
Dave Doyle – Mets Report
On Gooden: Aug. 17- Sep. 23, 1984
1984 was the summer before my junior year of high school. Gooden was the 19 year old phenom that was lighting the Mets summer on fire. I couldn’t wait to watch the games he started. But from mid-August through the end of September, he was superhuman. It was like nothing I’d ever seen throwing five complete games in his last eight starts including a one-hitter against the Cubs on Sep. 7. It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen in baseball. I’ll never forget the feeling of anticipation to see him pitch on Channel 9 that year.
On Strawberry: 1988 season
I was never as big of a Strawberry fan as some of my friends. He didn’t “look” like a player to me. I thought he looked more like a basketball player. But my opinion turned around in 1988. Although Kevin McReynolds had a great season, Straw blossomed into a major superstar that year when Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez started to decline. The season ended in a huge disappointment in the NLCS 7th game against Los Angeles but Straw showed that he was the complete package of speed and power.
Eric Simon – Amazin Avenue
On Gooden: The Doc Gooden moment that stands out for me had very little to do with baseball. It must’ve been ’87 or ’88 and my sister, who was a much bigger Mets fan than I at the time, dragged the lot of us to Toys ‘R’ Us to see Gooden for an autograph signing. The line was around the block, and by the time we made it into the store we had run out of time. Doc walked past the queue of tired-but-excited fans, shaking hands and flashing his gold teeth. My sister landed a handshake, and I think it was some time before our mother finally forced her to wash that hand.
On Strawberry: My most lasting memory of Darryl Strawberry was the first time I saw him in a Dodgers uniform, probably sometime in 1991. I was still just a kid, but he always seemed like a superhero to me. Imposing stature, towering home runs, awesome wristbands. He was a god among men and I couldn’t bear to see him in a different uniform.
A nice wide range of responses from my fellow Mets bloggers. What are your most memorable Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry moments?