Gooden probation violation sentencing Wednesday
TAMPA, Fla. -- Former star pitcher Dwight Gooden faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday for violating probation.
Dwight Gooden was the youngest pitcher in baseball history to win the Cy Young Award when at the age of 20, he won the 1985 honor after going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA for the Mets.
He won 91 games before his 24th birthday, however injuries and substance-abuse problems derailed his once-promising career. He retired at age 35 after the 2000 season with 194 victories.
Prosecutors said the 41-year-old Gooden violated probation last month by using cocaine. Gooden admitted to a probation officer he had used the drug and has been in jail since. He was serving three years of probation for speeding away from a police officer during a drunken driving traffic stop last year.
In November, he apologized to the court when he pleaded guilty to a felony count of fleeing police, misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and obstruction and to an unrelated charge of hitting his girlfriend.
As part of his probation, Gooden was ordered to stay away from alcohol, drugs and bars, and to submit to a minimum of three random urine tests a week. He also spent two months in an inpatient treatment facility for alcohol and drug addiction.
Gooden was the 1984 Rookie of the Year and 1985 NL Cy Young winner while with the New York Mets. He went 194-112 with a 3.51 ERA before retiring in 2001. He also pitched for the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
During his playing days, Gooden was suspended for 60 days in 1994 for testing positive for cocaine while with the Mets. He tested positive for cocaine again while on suspension and was sidelined for the 1995 season.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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