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opening of the Astros
HOU2000033006 - MARCH 30, 2000 - HOUSTON< TEXAS: Houston Astro Dwight Gooden pitches during the exhibition opener at the Houston Astros new Enron field ballpark in downtown Houston Thursday March 30. UPI RC/George Wong
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Dwight Eugene Gooden (born November 16, 1964), nicknamed "Doc Gooden" or "Dr. K", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was one of the most dominant and feared pitchers in the National League in the middle and late 1980s.

A native of Tampa, Florida, Gooden was drafted in the first round in 1982, the fifth player taken overall. He spent one season in the minors, in which he led the Class-A Carolina League in wins, strikeouts and ERA while playing for the Lynchburg Mets. Gooden had 300 strikeouts in 191 innings, a performance which convinced Triple-A Tidewater Tides manager, future Mets skipper Davey Johnson, that he was capable of making the unusual leap to the majors.

Gooden made his major-league debut on April 7, 1984 with the New York Mets at the age of 19. He quickly developed a reputation with his 98 MPH fastball and sweeping curveball, which was given the superlative nickname of "Lord Charles," in contrast with "Uncle Charlie," a common nickname for a curveball. He was dubbed "Dr. K," (by analogy with basketball's "Dr. J", Julius Erving, and also in reference to the letter "K" being the standard abbreviation for strikeout), which soon became shortened to "Doc". Gooden soon attracted a rooting section at Shea Stadium that called itself "The K Korner," and would hang up cards with a red "K" after each of his strikeouts.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dwight Gooden."
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