Dwight Gooden: I missed '86 parade doing drugs

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Dwight Gooden and actress Bai Ling on the streets of Manhattan on October 18, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Dwight Gooden and actress Bai Ling on the streets of Manhattan on October 18, 2011 in New York City.
Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

By all accounts, 1986 was a magical year for the New York Mets as the team won the World Series in dramatic fashion over the Boston Red Sox.

But their star pitcher, Dwight Gooden, didn't show up - losing Games 2 and 5 while surrendering 18 hits and 10 runs in 9 innings.

And he didn't show up for the World Series parade - because he was high in a drug dealer's apartment.

In an interview with ESPN's E:60, Gooden said while his teammates were celebrating their championship with a ticker tape parade in Manhattan, he was in a Long Island apartment in the projects high on cocaine and too paranoid to be there.

Gooden's history with drug addiction has long been chronicled and the former Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner even appeared on "Celebrity Rehab" earlier this year. But the ESPN interview offers grim details into how dark the period was for the pitcher, who said he got hooked on cocaine in 1986.

Gooden: Dykstra tried to "rescue" me from rehab

In the interview, which airs Wednesday, Gooden recounted the sequence of events following the Mets' game 7 win:

"After that game was over, we're celebrating and everything at the ballpark, in the clubhouse, and me and some of the guys went back out on the pitcher's mound and we had the big bottles of champagne. Then once everybody said we're going to this club in Long Island to hang out for a while, it was like, 'OK.' ...

"Well, my ride to the club I called a guy who I got drugs from, had him meet me there, was drinking, started using drugs. Then when the party started winding down, for myself a lot of times I get to a certain point of using drugs, the paranoia sticks in. So I end up leaving the party with the team, going to these projects, of all places in Long Island. Hang out there.

"Then you know what time you have to be at the ballpark to go into the city for the parade, but I'm thinking, 'OK, I got time.' And the clocks, I mean the rooms are spinning. I said, 'OK, I'll leave in another hour.' Then the next thing you know the parade's on and I'm watching the parade on TV."

"Here I am in the projects in a drug dealer's apartment with guys I don't even know, with drugs in the house, watching it. It's a horrible feeling."

Gooden, who was suspended for testing positive for drugs after the 1986 season, had a rocky road from then on. He would be on two championship Yankee teams but was rarely dominant on the mound. Off the field, he was arrested several times - most recently in 2010 for crashing his car while under the influence of drugs with his 5-year-old son in the backseat.

Still, Gooden told ESPN that he's been clean ever since leaving "Celebrity Rehab" seven months ago and he credits the show for making him "do a lot of soul searching."

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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