They don’t make teenagers like Dwight Gooden anymore. Back in 1984, Gooden made his MLB debut with the Mets as a 19-year-old. He managed to win the Rookie of the Year, while also placing second in the Cy Young voting, finishing at No. 15 in the National League’s MVP results.
Gooden did get his Cy Young the following year when he led the league with 24 wins, a 1.53 ERA and 16 complete games. Things were great for Gooden early on. In those early seasons, he was well on his way toward making his way into Cooperstown.
Unfortunately, personal issues persisted and Gooden declined on and off the field. Nevertheless, “Doc” managed to put together a brilliant career with the Mets.
During his 303 starts and pair of relief appearances for the Mets, Gooden went 157-85 with a 3.10 ERA. In four of his 11 seasons, Gooden was a top-five finisher in the Cy Young vote.
It’s truly amazing how brilliant the beginning of his career was. By getting off to such an amazing start, the poor finish with the Mets doesn’t look nearly as bad.
Gooden holds the Mets’ record for the best winning percentage at .649 and averaged the fewest home runs per nine at 0.51.
In addition to holding those career records, Gooden’s 1984 and 1985 campaign helped him earn some single-season victories. These include WAR, strikeouts per nine and shutouts.
When we think of Gooden, there’s a lot of “what ifs” with his career. Thankfully, he did give the team plenty in the short peak of his career in the best era of Mets baseball.