The Mets are a franchise in turmoil on the field and in many ways off it, but they have a chance to mitigate some of their bad press if they are smart. The decision in question revolves around the induction of Dwight Gooden to the team’s Hall of Fame. Gooden is scheduled for induction next Sunday along with Frank Cashen, Davey Johnson and Darryl Strawberry, but the Mets should hold off on Gooden’s enshrinement.
The reason is the recent revelations that Gooden has abandoned his wife and children and left them to survive on public assistance and food stamps. That plus, Gooden’s accident in March, where he was charged with DWI and having a child in the car, make him an unworthy candidate for the Hall of Fame at this moment.
There is no doubt that Gooden’s on field performance makes him a Hall of Famer. His 1984 and 1985 seasons were legendary and his 157 wins rank him second on the Mets all-time list. But, his career off the field has been a litany of disappointments. From his battles with drugs and alcohol to incidents of battery against women, Gooden has continually shown little regard for his actions.
Some will say that his personal problems should not play into his induction in the Hall of Fame and that everyone is deserving of forgiveness for his or her mistakes.
However, Gooden’s litany of mistakes and offenses stretch the bounds of forgiveness and to applaud him while his wife and children struggle to survive is impossible. The Mets should hold off on his induction until Gooden and his family are in a better place.