Doc: A Memoir

Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican. New Harvest, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-544-02702-2
The New York Mets were the talk of the Big Apple in the mid-1980s thanks to Dwight “Doc” Gooden, a flame-throwing phenomenon. By his second season, the 20-year-old was anointed baseball’s next great thing. Undisciplined away from the mound, Gooden was introduced to cocaine, a habit that led to a quick unraveling. He actually missed the 1986 World Series parade because he was hungover from a booze and cocaine binge. “My only romance was cocaine,” Gooden writes. “And the deeper I got into the addiction, it was becoming more of a job than a fling.” A walking tabloid headline by the late 2000s, Gooden eventually turned a New Jersey hotel room into his own private drug den before getting help from an unlikely source: TV’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Gooden says he has been sober for over two years: “It’s a tough, relentless battle that I’m facing… But I am as well-armed as I can be.” That directness, rarely seen in athlete-penned memoirs, distinguishes this book. It feels like Gooden is baring his soul out of necessity, not trying to accumulate PR points, though he could use some: he was hit with a restraining order in New Jersey last month after threatening his estranged wife. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/22/2013
Release date: 06/04/2013
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