Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 5/10/13
Dwight "Doc" Gooden was so tweaked out on cocaine and booze the night the Mets won the 1986 World Series that he missed the team's ticker-tape parade down New York's Canyon of Heroes the next morning, the former All-Star pitcher writes in a brutally honest new memoir. In "Doc: A Memoir," Gooden writes that the first person he called as his teammates celebrated their victory over the Boston Red Sox was his dad. The next person was his drug dealer. "Champagne corks were flying as the TV crews grabbed their postgame sound bites," Gooden says, describing the chaos in the Shea Stadium locker room after the Mets won Game 7 of the Series. "The players were shouting each other's names. People started pouring champagne on other peoples' heads. All of us agreed how great we were. But in the early craziness of the locker room, two thoughts were crowding all the others out of my head: I gotta call my dealer. And I gotta call my dad." Gooden describes how his first inclination that night included telling his dealer he would be heading over to pick up a pile of coke.  "Just make sure you're available, okay? It's gonna be a big party," Gooden told the dealer in a secret call made from a trainer's office. "I got whatever you need," the dealer responded. Gooden spent the night in a "sketchy" apartment in a Long Island housing project snorting lines and downing shots of vodka until dawn — when he blearily drove himself home. While teammates including Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter were being showered with ticker-tape, Gooden recalls how he regretfully spent the next morning alone, not answering the phone and covered in shame. A moment he describes as the loneliest he's ever been. "As my teammates rode through the Canyon of Heroes, I was alone and in my bed in Roslyn, Long Island, with the curtains closed and the TV on, missing what should have been the greatest moment of my life." The unflinching memoir also chronicles Gooden's rise as the best pitcher in baseball, his descent into drugs and alcohol, his years with the Yankees and his ultimately successful battle against his inner demons and the substance abuse that derailed what should have been a Hall of Fame career. He goes into vivid details about his numerous rehab attempts and finally getting clean on VH1's "Celebrity Rehab." The book, written with veteran journalist Ellis Henican, will hit bookstores on June 4, but excerpts are already posted on Amazon.com.
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