Gooden, who played for both the Yankees and Mets during his 16-year career, was initially pulled over on July 6 at 1 a.m. for driving too slow, swerving out of his lane and having windows tinted over the legal limit.
Once police officers approached the vehicle, they encountered an anxious Gooden and executed a routine search. They found “two small green zip-lock style plastic baggies containing suspected cocaine,” according to a criminal complaint filed by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Gooden was charged with third-degree possession of a controlled substance and driving under the influence. The 52-year-old has a long history with drug abuse, specifically cocaine, and underwent a numerous rehab stints during his playing days.
He tested positive for drug use during the 1987 season and again in 1995, with many of his current and former teammates going on record to confide that Gooden had a severe and dangerous addiction. In 2006, the 1985 Cy Young Award winner was arrested for showing up under the influence of cocaine to meet with his probation officer.
In 2016, Gooden appeared on the cover of the New York Daily News with the alarming headline: “Doc, We Love You But You Have To Stop Using Coke.”
His former Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry explained the problem in inflammatory-yet-heartfelt comments that aired on ESPN as part of a “30-for-30” documentary about the troubled pitcher.
“He’s a complete junkie-addict,” Strawberry said, via The Comeback. “I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen. He thinks he can manipulate and BS his way through everything. His son called me to beg me to help his dad before he dies.
“The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him.”
Gooden threw a no-hitter for the Yankees in 1996 and finished his baseball career with a 194-112 record and a 3.51 ERA.
by – heavy.com