Dwight Gooden Apr 14, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets former pitcher Dwight Gooden interacts with fans before his number retirement ceremony before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets honored former pitcher Dwight “Doc” Gooden at Citi Field Sunday, and while some fans might have been distracted by the light rain that fell during his three-minute speech, Howie Rose had a different view.

The longtime Mets broadcaster tweeted his thoughts after Gooden’s speech.

“I’m convinced that the rain that fell during @DocGooden16’s speech today had a special purpose,” Rose posted on X/Twitter. “It was a metaphor for dealing with challenges which allowed him to crush his speech just like he’s fought through his personal issues. Obviously far different, but Doc met the moment.”

Gooden’s off-field struggles during his career are unfortunately as much a part of his legacy as his 1985 Cy Young Award, World Series championship, and 194 career wins. He had issues with substance abuse that led to his suspension from June 1994 through the 1995 season and ended his time with the Mets. After retiring, he had other off-field legal woes and served a prison sentence in 2006 for violating probation.

The Mets finally got around to retiring Gooden’s No. 16 Sunday, 30 years after he last pitched for them. While many fans wondered why the Mets waited so long, Gooden said in his speech that his off-field issues played a part.

“The things I did on the field, I’ve always had a chance,” Gooden said (via CBS News). “But unfortunately, the struggles I had off the field, I thought it diminished that, it probably wouldn’t happen.”

Gooden told the crowd that he wanted to return to the Mets after his suspension, but it never happened. Sunday, he finally made his return.

“The moral of the story is everything’s about timing,” Gooden said. “Now, today, the time is right. My health is good, my mental health is good and today I get to retire as a Met. And I want all you guys to know, you guys are part of this. Thank you so much.”

Fans hailed Gooden’s speech, and Rose’s observation about the rain reinforced that sentiment.

Gooden tweeted his thanks to the Mets and others after the ceremony.

[Howie Rose]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.