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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Video: "Doc" Gooden admits he missed the team's championship parade in '86 because he was in a drug-induced haze

Former New York Mets ace Dwight "Doc" Gooden admits he missed the team's World Series championship parade in 1986 because he was in a drug-induced haze.

Gooden, who has battled drug problems during and after his career, told ESPN that he attended a party in the projects on Long Island after a team party ended following the Mets' Game 7 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

"When the party started winding down, for myself, a lot of times I get to a certain point of using drugs, the paranoia sticks in," Gooden told ESPN. "So I end up leaving the party with the team, going to these projects, of all places, in Long Island. Hang out there.

"Then you know what time you have to be at the ballpark to go into the city for the parade, but I'm thinking 'OK, I've got time.' And the clocks, I mean the rooms are spinning. I said, 'OK, I'll leave in another hour. OK, maybe in 30 minutes I'll leave. Well, maybe 15 more minutes I'll leave. Then the next thing you know, the parade's on and I'm watching the parade on TV. ... Horrible, horrible feeling."

Gooden, the fifth overall pick in the 1982 draft, won NL rookie of the year honors with the Mets in 1984 at age 19 and was the NL Cy Young award winner in 1985. That season, he led the NL in wins (24), ERA (1.53), strikeouts (268) and complete games (16).

Gooden remained with the Mets through the 1994 season, missed the 1995 season and signed with the New York Yankees prior to the 1996 season. Before returning to the Yankees to finish his major league career in 2000, he also pitched for the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Houston Astros.

In 16 major league seasons, Gooden was 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA and 2,293 strikeouts.

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