Dwight Gooden finally gets his Mets wish with number retirement


Dwight Gooden still had one regret about his career, he said Sunday, which was how his time with the Mets ended.

Prior to his number retirement ceremony, Gooden said more than once on Sunday he wanted to “make things right” with Mets fans after the way his tenure with the team ended in 1994, when he tested positive for cocaine and was suspended by MLB for all of the 1995 season.

“The fans stuck with me through everything,’’ Gooden said Sunday prior to his number retirement ceremony at Citi Field. “After ‘94, when the Mets cut ties with me, I always wanted to come back here.”

Dwight Gooden speaks during his Mets number retirement ceremony on Sunday. AP

He got the opportunity on Sunday, when he recounted that he tried to return to the Mets as a player on several occasions, but the team never gave him the chance.

During his brief speech prior to Sunday’s game during an ill-timed rain shower, Gooden said he called the Mets following his two-year stint with the Yankees, which elicited a round of boos from the crowd.

Gooden responded, “I’m always a Met.”

He was told by the Mets there was no room on the roster for him.

Gooden said he made the same call after spending 1998 and 1999 with Cleveland, as well as in 2000 when he was released by Tampa Bay.

“I wanted to come back and finish my career [with the Mets] and said I’d go to Triple-A and do whatever it takes,’’ Gooden said. “They said there was no room, so I signed back with the Yankees and won a World Series.”

Dwight Gooden’s No. 16 is revealed at the top of Citi Field on Sunday. AP

He even wanted to sign a one-day contract after that season to retire as a Met, but it didn’t work out and his substance abuse problems got in the way of other potential returns.

That was fixed by a phone call from owner Steve Cohen last year and Gooden thanked Cohen and his wife, Alex, on Sunday.

“Everything is about timing,’’ Gooden said. “Now, my health is good and today, I retire as a Met.”

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2024-04-14 18:41:00

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