Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden enter the Mets Hall of Fame.
Sure this sounds nice and it is a good PR move and maybe it will sell some more tickets for Sunday afternoon.
But it’s a mixed blessing.
This is my problem with it.
The mid eighties, when both came up to the big team were the years that – my niece and I- spent a lot of time on the third tier behind home plate. She called it ‘heaven’ and would sit and fill out her scorecard ever so neatly.
We saw the early games of both men – in fact we saw Doc’s first game and also his first home run. You could see that big grin from way upstairs as he ran the bases.
Strawberry had so many home runs, that it became the usual for him.
However, even early on – particularly with Gooden – there were absences and/or days he was under the weather. And the word “Smithers” came into our conversation. Remember – he didn’t even make it to the parade when they won the series.
Now I know that both of them have tried to get their lives in order and Darryl has recently made progress, but Doc has regressed again. In fact it was the late George Steinbrenner who tried to help both these men, but few knew about it.
Sports – all sports – have a big problem on their hands – as drug usage grew – the players union and Bud Selig ignored it. Even now it is a complicated issue. A player like Alex Rodriguez ( almost a Met once) used steroids for years under the Selig administration, then apparently switched to HGH even though steroids and similar drugs have been illegal in the United States since 1993.
So, yes there will be a big celebration on Sunday, and I hope that the house is full as it used to be for Doc and Darryl.
This time my eyes will be on Davey Johnson and Frank Cashen.