Former major-league pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden was arrested in New Jersey for possession of cocaine and driving under the influence, according to the New York Post.
Gooden, who played for both the Yankees and Mets during his 16-year career, was initially pulled over on July 7 at 1 a.m. by police in Holmdel, New Jersey for driving too slow, swerving out of his lane and having windows tinted over the legal limit.
Once police officers approached the vehicle, they encountered a suspiciously anxious Gooden and executed a routine search. They found “two small green zip-lock style plastic baggies containing suspected cocaine,” according to a criminal complaint filed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Gooden didn’t immediately return a message and his family declined to comment, according to the New York Post.
Gooden was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance and driving under the influence. The 54-year-old has a long and storied history with legal troubles stemming from his drug abuse, specifically cocaine, and underwent numerous rehab stints during his playing days. In 2014, a sober Gooden told the New York Post that “I never thought I would make it to 50.”
Gooden’s most recent prior arrest came in 2010 when he was charged with leaving the scene of a traffic accident and child endangerment since his 5-year-old son, Dylan, was in the car. He tested positive for drug use during the 1987 season and again in 1995 while pitching for the Mets.
Many of his former teammates have gone on record and confided Gooden had a severe and dangerous addiction. In 2006, the 1985 Cy Young Award winner was arrested for showing up under the influence of cocaine to meet with his probation officer. In 2016, Gooden appeared on the cover of the New York Daily News with the alarming headline: “Doc, we love you, but you have to stop using coke.”
Gooden’s former Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry explained his friend’s drug-abuse problem in a documentary for the ESPN Films’ “30-for-30” series entitled “Doc & Darryl.” The All-Star pair led the Mets to the 1986 World Series title, but both struggled with drug addiction.
“He’s a complete junkie-addict,” Strawberry said, via The Comeback. “I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies.
“The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him.”
Gooden threw a no-hitter for the Yankees in 1996 and finished his baseball career with a 194-112 record and a 3.51 ERA. He retired in 2001 after being cut by the Yankees and appeared on the 2006 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Since his name received less than five percent of the vote, at 3.3 percent, he has been removed from all future considerations.