Mayor Honors Doc Gooden With Key To The City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presented the key to the city to Dwight Eugene “Doc” Gooden Mets baseball legend on the steps of City Hall on Friday, April 28, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presented the key to the city to Dwight Eugene “Doc” Gooden Mets baseball legend on the steps of City Hall on Friday, April 28, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

By Ray Negron

In October 1986, the New York Mets won the World Series and were riding through the Canyon Of Heroes with then-Mayor Ed Koch as well as team co-owners, Fred Wilson and Nelson Doubleday. The lone person missing that day was the Mets’ 21-year old phenom Dwight “Doc” Gooden.  Everyone asked Darryl Strawberry where Doc was and Strawberry said he went by the house and did not get an answer.

Doc Gooden Dahy at City Hall where he finally received the Key to the City 31 years later Credit: RAy Negron.

Doc Gooden Dahy at City Hall where he finally received the Key to the City 31 years later Credit: Ray Negron.

It was later revealed that Dwight had given into his demons the night before and succumbed to the deadly drug known as cocaine. For years Gooden has had to listen to the bad jokes and was always asked about where did he end up that night. Gooden would laugh on the outside but cry on the inside. It was something that he was always ashamed of.

Gooden felt he let so many people down, especially his mother and father. Dwight has been lucky because he got to play for the Yankees and won two more world championships and got to go to those parades but even that didn’t take away the pain and humiliation of what has broken his heart the past thirty years.

This past year Dwight lost his beloved mother, Ella Mae Gooden probably the closest person to him next to his children, the anchor of his life and the person who no matter he had fallen would always be there to pick him up. Two months ago he got into a public and verbal fight with Darryl Strawberry over the possibilities of more drug use.

Things were said that basically hurt both parties. However, if you know the history of these two men, then you know they are truly like brothers who fight, scream and claw at each other but at the end of the day you know that you love each other and will always be there for each other.

Many people, myself included, hated all  the negativity that was going on between these two really good guys. A mutual friend, strongly involved with the media, Amy Heart has known these two gentleman for quite some time and felt that enough was enough. One way or another Amy got Doc and Darryl together in the same room and would not let them leave until they had taken care of their differences.

If you really know Doc and Darryl, that was a dangerous act to take because with the type of tempers these guys have the situation could have backfired and these guys could have ended up killing each other.  However, true love prevailed and these two former New York baseball giants ended up hugging each other.

Former teammates and NY Mets greats, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc” Gooden embrace on the steps of City Hall on Friday, April 28, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

Former teammates and NY Mets greats, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight “Doc” Gooden embrace on the steps of City Hall on Friday, April 28, 2017. Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office.

Amy, being the wonderful soul that she is, understood how much missing that parade had beat up on Gooden’s soul. She had a friend at the Mayor’s office get together with  Mayor Bill de Blasio  and explained the situation and the next thing you know we were having a ceremony on the steps of City Hall with Dwight, Darryl and some of his 1986 teammates.

This was the first time that I would meet the mayor and really appreciated his compassion for Dwight Gooden and his situation. The Mayor looked at and listened to Gooden more like a person who needed a hand as opposed to someone that had been a fallen hero.

Dwight "Doc" Gooden Day at City Hall. Pictured (left to right), Ray Negron, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Doc Gooden. Credit: Ray Negron.

Dwight “Doc” Gooden Day at City Hall. Pictured (left to right), Ray Negron, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Doc Gooden. Credit: Ray Negron.

There were hundreds of fans in attendance as Mayor de Blasio gave Doc Gooden the “Key To The City.” De Blasio introduced all the special guests who were there. He even introduced me as “Ray Negron from the other team in New York” and in my own way I was flattered because I was there representing my beloved Yankees. And Doc did have some incredibly good moments there, too.

Mayor de Blasio finally called Doc Gooden to the podium and he got a wonderful ovation from all the fans who were there. Gooden was very honest with the fans about why he didn’t show up that day. He spoke of his pain and mentioned the fact that he was extremely grateful to the Mayor for letting this happen and he was also extremely grateful to Amy Heart for caring enough about Dwight Gooden the person that she would facilitate this wonderful day for him.

When Gooden broke down and cried at the podium, I knew that those tears were meant for two special ladies he misses very much: Adele Smithers, the pioneer of drug recovery who picked Gooden up on many occasions and who just recently passed away, and, of course, his incredible mom, Ella Mae, who taught him what love is always about.

All in all it was just another nice day in the world of baseball.

Weekends with Ray: ESPN 1050 Deportes Saturday and Sunday 12-2pm. Read Ray on Newsmax Negron is a community consultant for the Yankees and been with the organization for 40 years. 

Print Friendly
Share this Article: