Tampa’s Dwight Gooden charged with cocaine possession

The former Mets great, arrested in New Jersey last month, also was charged with driving under the influence.
Former New York Mets pitcher Dwight "Doc" Gooden watches batting practice before inning of a spring training baseball game between the Mets and the Miami Marlins Monday, March 13, 2017, in Port St. Lucie. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Former New York Mets pitcher Dwight "Doc" Gooden watches batting practice before inning of a spring training baseball game between the Mets and the Miami Marlins Monday, March 13, 2017, in Port St. Lucie. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Published July 12

In 2016, Dwight Gooden asserted that he was sober and the cocaine use that plagued him as a player and afterward was in the past. A new arrest indicates that his years-old claims may no longer hold water.

The Tampa native and former Mets standout pitcher was charged with cocaine possession and driving under the influence last month in New Jersey. The arrest was first reported by the New York Post. Gooden’s attorney asked that the public reserve judgment.

Holmdel Township, N.J., police arrested Gooden early in the morning of June 7. Police said he was pulled over before 1 a.m. for failing to maintain the lane and driving too slowly on a highway.

Gooden, affectionately known as “Doc” and “Dr. K," pitched to a 3.51 ERA across 16 seasons for the Mets, Yankees, Indians and Devil Rays.

His most successful seasons resulted in the 1984 National League Rookie of the Year Award and the 1985 National League Cy Young Award with the Mets. He led the pitching staff of the 1986 World Series champion Mets.

Gooden, 54, encountered drug troubles in his professional career and afterward. He missed the start of the 1987 season after testing positive for cocaine use.

The 1994 season was Gooden’s last in a Mets uniform. Major League Baseball suspended the right-hander for the entire 1995 season after another positive test.

Gooden returned to the majors in 1996, posting a 5.01 ERA in 29 starts for the Yankees. He threw a no-hitter for the Yankees in a May 14 matchup against the Mariners lineup that included Hall-of-Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez. He pitched for the Devil Rays in their third season of existence, from April 13 tol May 25, 2000.

Gooden signed with the Yankees in June of 2000 and went on to win the World Series with New York that season. He re-signed with the Yankees that offseason, but later retired before taking the mound in another official game.

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