Mets to honor Gooden, Strawberry
NEW YORK -- Doc and Darryl, together again.
Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will be inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame this summer, highlighting a class that features four key members of the 1986 World Series champions.
Popular manager Davey Johnson and general manager Frank Cashen also will be feted on Aug. 1 before the Mets host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
"This group of guys, they're my friends," Gooden said on a conference call Tuesday. "We'll always be connected. I'm just very honored to go in with this group of guys. Just blown away by it."
They are the first new members of the team's Hall of Fame since Tommie Agee was chosen in 2002.
The club re-formed its Hall of Fame committee in November, after fans and media criticized the Mets for not celebrating their own history enough in their new ballpark, which debuted last year.
The Mets will open their Hall of Fame and Museum this season in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field. It will feature a plaque for every member of the team's Hall of Fame -- the 2010 class will make 25 in all.
"I am truly honored and blessed to see this day come," Strawberry said. "When I look back over it, there was no greater days than being a Met."
Gooden's dominant pitching and Strawberry's power hitting helped lead the Mets to a World Series title in 1986 and another NL East crown in '88. Drugs and legal troubles derailed their careers, but both still hold a special place in the hearts of many Mets fans.
They were big hits at a young age. Strawberry was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1983 and Gooden took the award in '84. Strawberry still owns franchise records for homers, RBIs, runs and extra-base hits, while Gooden trails only Tom Seaver in wins and strikeouts.
Doc and Darryl formed a fast friendship, and it's only fitting that they'll be honored together.
"For me, being inducted, it's like a homecoming," said Gooden, who also pitched for the Yankees, Indians, Astros and Tampa Bay. "Everything has come full circle for myself. I'm just honored and overwhelmed for this day to come."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press