Two more iconic Mets will have their jersey numbers immortalized next season.
The Mets have announced that Dwight “Doc” Gooden’s No. 16 and Darryl Strawberry‘s No. 18 will become the ninth and 10th retired uniform numbers in Mets history.
They will join Casey Stengel (No. 37), Gil Hodges (No. 14), Tom Seaver (No. 41), Jackie Robinson (No. 42), Mike Piazza (No. 31), Jerry Koosman (No. 36). Keith Hernandez (No. 17), and Willie Mays (No. 24).
Both players, who were already members of the Mets Hall of Fame, will have separate ceremonies next season, with dates to be announced in the coming months.
“I’m thrilled that two iconic members of the 1986 championship club will have their numbers retired in 2024,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said. “Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden each had an enormous impact on our franchise and it’s my honor to continue our commitment to celebrating our wonderful history.”
A first-round pick of the Mets in 1982, Gooden skyrocketed to stardom in 1984, winning NL Rookie of the Year and finishing second in NL Cy Young voting while earning his first All-Star nod.
Then, in 1985, the right-hander recorded one of the best single seasons by a pitcher in the history of the game, earning the Triple Crown as he led the league in wins (24), ERA (1.53) and strikeouts (268), winning the Cy Young Award in the process.
In 1986, Gooden led a dominant rotation, throwing 12 complete games and posting a 2.84 ERA as the Mets went on to win the World Series.
All in all, he pitched 11 seasons with the Mets, racking up 157 wins (second in franchise history), 1,875 strikeouts (second in franchise history) and a 3.10 ERA. His .649 win percentage is the best in Mets history.
Gooden went on to be a part of two more World Series championship teams with the Yankees, though he was left off the postseason roster in 1996. He closed out his illustrious career pitching for Cleveland, Houston, Tampa Bay, and then one more stop with the Yankees.
“I was completely overwhelmed when I got the call,” Gooden said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the fans who supported me through the good times and bad times. I couldn’t have made it through without their encouragement. There is no greater honor a player can receive than having his number retired. It’s hard for me to express how honored and thankful I am to Steve and Alex (Cohen). This would make my mother and father extremely proud and I know they are looking down from heaven smiling.”
Strawberry, the first overall pick in 1980, didn’t take long to make his mark on the team. Debuting in 1983, Strawberry hit a then-Mets rookie record 26 home runs, earning National League Rookie of the Year. An All-Star in each of his next seven seasons with the Mets, Strawberry blasted 252 home runs with New York, the most in team history.
Hitting in the middle of the order, Strawberry was huge for the Mets in the 1986 NLCS against Houston, hitting clutch home runs in Game 3 and Game 5 as New York went on to win the series and eventually defeat the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
Strawberry left the Mets for his hometown LA Dodgers as a free agent after the 1990 season and ended up playing for the San Francisco Giants and Yankees before calling it a career. He won two more rings with the Yankees, making him a three-time World Series champ.
“When I got the call from Steve, I welled up with tears of joy,” Strawberry said. “I started to reflect on my journey through the organization. I had some ups and downs, but in the end, I am proud of my time in New York. I owe so much to Mets fans – they are simply the best. It’s really amazing to me that No. 18 will be forever remembered. I would like to thank the Hall of Fame committee and especially Steve and Alex Cohen.”
Source: Yahoo Sports