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Mets still plan on inducting Gooden into their Hall of Fame in August

Mar 25, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

Gooden headshot.jpgYesterday’s arrest for DWI and child endangerment will not affect the Mets’ plans to induct Dwight Gooden into the team’s hall of fame, the Daily News reports. As of now he’s scheduled to be inducted alongside Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen and Davey Johnson.

Probably worth noting that this was not some definitive team statement endorsing Gooden or anything. From the article it seems like someone simply asked the team, the team basically said “um, we just heard about this and haven’t changed our plans,” which is probably all you can say in such a situation. It will take bigger fish than a media relations person to make a final call on such a thing.

Hard to say what the right thing to do is, here. On the one hand, honoring someone who hasn’t acted all that honorably is not the best idea on the planet.  On the other hand, this is technically for a “hall of fame,” and when I think hall of fame I think “museum” and “history,” and I’m inclined to not let moral and ethical lapses of the subject of history affect the recording of that history. At least that’s how I think about it when it comes to Cooperstown. Let in the jerks. Let in the drug users. We can all assess how their personal failings impact their legacy, but let us not erase the legacy or pretend that they didn’t exist.

I guess all of this depends on how much this thing the Mets are doing is really about recording history vs. how much it is about having “Dwight Gooden Day” as a promotion. If the former, sure, go on as planned. If the latter, eh, maybe take the whole matter under advisement, allow this episode to unfold, determine how ugly it is and then make a decision later.

  1. YX - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I totally agree on the “let them all in” thing. I mean, there should only be one standard for a HoF: “is he famous enough?”. It is not called “Hall of Excellence for a While or Very Good for Very Long”, or “Hall of Pillar of Light” last time I checked.
    “play raccoon”

  2. enough already - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I was thinking about this last night and it made me sad. Sad in a personal way. The same way I felt when Marion Jones was stripped of her medals for steroid use. For whatever reason, he feels like a member of my family. Then I snapped out of it and remembered he’s not my little brother. I agree with you about the hall of fame in general. But I think either way, he should not be inducted this year. It’s too hard for too many people to stomach and not good for the people who are explaining it to the little kids. There’s no law that says he has to be inducted within a certain time frame, not even in his life time. Sadly, if he keeps up like this, he’ll get that shot sooner rather than later.

  3. Joey B - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    I could see the argument either way.
    But as someone, not a Mets fan, that went to see him a fair amount, I’d say that he was more dominant longer than anyone I’ve ever seen outside of Pedro. Maybe 119-46 with a 2.82 at age 25. You’d have thought that 1,500 IPs by age 25 or 276 in one season at age 20 might been not a great idea, but it is what it is.

  4. BC - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    “I’d say that he was more dominant longer than anyone I’ve ever seen outside of Pedro.”
    OK… how about
    Maddux
    Big Unit
    Clemens
    Spahn
    Feller
    That’s five off the top of my head. I’m sure I could name more.

  5. Big Harold - Mar 25, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Gooden should get his day, .. eventually but not this year. All things considered there is a very good chance that he’ll be in rehab or incarcerated by August. Even if he’s out pending trial or finial disposition it would be a huge distraction for the others getting inducted. There would be reams of articles decrying his induction on moral grounds.
    The things that Gooden did on the baseball field are not wiped away by his behavior off the field. Nor are they even lessened. But, there is a time and a place for everything and I don’t think the time is right for this now, .. or in August.

  6. Old Gator - Mar 25, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Well, I’ve already done my gushing about Doc in his prime on another thread, so I won’t repeat it. But I suppose if they go ahead with this, Doc can participate via Skype from Raiford.

  7. Joey B - Mar 25, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    “OK… how about
    Maddux
    Big Unit
    Clemens
    Spahn
    Feller
    That’s five off the top of my head. I’m sure I could name more.”
    Spahn and Feller were before my time.
    Of the other three, Clemens and Maddox were comparable at their dominant best, RJ a bit better. I guess I’m thinking about his immediate dominance. He dominated as soon as he came in and did so for 6 years.

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