For the longest time, this writer has been sick and tired of hearing about what should have been. How about the positive part of what was?
Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden broke into the New York scene as the most Cooperstown-bound rookies because of their great and natural baseball ability.
Not since Lou Gehrig and Tom Seaver had New York seen such ability on the diamond.
Strawberry’s incredible bat speed and power and "The Good Doctor’s" fastball and a curve ball that had the nick name (lord Charles) . . . I must add that they also had two of the greatest nicknames ever, "The Strawman" and "Dr. K."
These two individuals were fun, exciting, and great.
All of the major celebrities went to Shea Stadium just to see them. "Bad boy," Mike Tyson, became a "good boy" whenever he came around and even music superstar Whitney Houston fixed her schedule just so she could hang out with these two great baseball phenomenons!
Over in the Bronx great Yankee owner George Steinbrenner got upset because he couldn’t understand how his scouts missed out on these two incredible players.
When Mr Steinbrenner heard that the Mets were going to bring up the 19-year-old Tampa product Gooden, he decided that he was going to bring up 18 year old Jose Rijo, who even though he wasn’t quite Doc Gooden, he would go on to have a fabulous career himself.
I remember "The Boss" once watching an afternoon Mets game because the Yankees were playing at night. The Strawman hit a majestic home run and the Boss screamed out, "Only Babe Ruth hit them like that!"
Steinbrenner acted as if they were on his team when he watched them play for the Mets.
When the Mets won the 1986 World Series, The Boss was the first to say that this was great for New York. He was also happy that Doc and Darryl were the leaders of the pack.
Ten years later Mr Steinbrenner upset many people in baseball because he would give these two guys, that were then termed the dead end kids by Sports Illustrated, a second chance in baseball when they were suspended for addiction issues.
Today, George Steinbrenner would applaud Mets owner Steve Cohen and his wife Alex for honoring Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry for the positive things that they have brought to baseball.
For understanding life’s struggles and the fact that anyone can fall down, however do they have the courage to try to get up.
George Steinbrenner never gave up on Billy Martin, Steve Howe and (until the day he died) he never gave up on Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.
From what I can see, neither will Alex and Steve Cohen.
I want to personally congratulate my brothers Doc and Darryl on the announcement that the Mets will retire numbers 16 and 18 and induct these two really great guys into the New York Mets Hall of Fame.
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. Mr. Negron is an American film producer, a best-selling author, and philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." Read Ray Negron's Reports — More Here.
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