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Doc: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Dwight Gooden , Ellis Henican
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (332 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A brutally honest memoir of talent, addiction, and recovery from one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. As a shy nineteen-year-old, Dwight Gooden swept into New York, lifting a team of crazy characters to World Series greatness and giving a beleaguered city a reason to believe. Then he threw it all away.

Now, with fresh and sober eyes, the Mets’ beloved Dr. K shares the intimate details of his life and career, revealing all the extraordinary highs and lows: The hidden traumas in his close-knit Tampa family. The thrill and pressure of being a young baseball phenom in New York. The raucous days and nights with the Mets’ bad boys (and the real reason he missed the 1986 World Series Victory Parade). The self-destructive drug binges and the three World Series rings. His heartbreaking attempts at getting sober, the senseless damage to family and friends, and the unexpected way he finally saved his life—on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

In Doc, Gooden details his close friendships with many of baseball’s greats: Pete Rose, George Streinbrenner, Joe Torre, and nephew Gary Sheffield. For the first time ever, he reveals the full story of his troubled relationship with fellow Mets superstar Darryl Strawberry. And he tells the moving story of the Yankees no-hitter he pitched for his dying father. Doc is a riveting baseball memoir by one of the game’s most fascinating figures, and an inspiring story for anyone who has faced tough challenges in life.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dwight “Doc” Gooden debuted with the New York Mets in 1984 as a 19-year-old. It was breathtaking. That first season he won 17 games, lost just 9, and struck out 276 batters in just 218 innings. In his second year he was 24–4 and won the Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher. In 1986, he led the Mets to a World Series title. But by then, Gooden’s world was busting apart. He was both an alcoholic and a cocaine addict. When the Mets had their parade to celebrate the series win, Gooden was alone in a dingy hotel room trying to straighten up after a bender. He went on to win 194 games but most came before he was 29. The drugs diminished what may have been an all-time great career. In his memoir, Gooden reveals a childhood marked by violence. But there was also love. Gooden learned to play baseball from his dad, who would spend endless hours with his son in Tampa’s parks. But once Gooden discovered cocaine, his life became an endless cycle of rehab, denial, and addiction. Amazingly, the rehab that seems to have succeeded was the reality television show in which second-rate celebrities are the focus. Gooden has been clean for a couple years now and works with others battling substance abuse. A harrowing cautionary tale. --Wes Lukowsky


"It's outstanding. Let this be said again: Against all precedent, Doc is outstanding; a brutally honest, oft-painful retelling of the life of a onetime pitching phenom whose existence has been largely ruined by nearly three decades of on-again, off-again drug and alcohol abuse."—Newsday

"Why it's hot: Few athletes have known such highs and lows as Gooden, a 19-year-old star with the Mets in 1984 who, in a comeback with the Yankees, threw a no-hitter in 1996." —USA Today

"He is now two years sober, the author of a superb new bio ('Doc: A Memoir') that is excruciating, entertaining, and heartbreaking all at once, and baseball is still his favorite subject." New Jersey Star Ledger

"On the surface, this book is a memoir of a man who abused drugs. It culminates in a sense of peace, fought for and earned by the subject. His breezy writing style takes the reader along the way a fan can enjoy the patient nature of a pitcher going the distance." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

"While Doc is a sobering testament to one athlete’s remarkable fall from grace, it’s also a tale of redemption." —New York Observer

"A page-turning book…a sobering read….Doc is the kind of book aspiring athletes need to read." —Tampa Tribune

"Dwight Gooden pulls no punches—the book jacket calls it a “brutally honest memoir” and that is exactly what it is. It is sad but also inspiring…I can’t recommend this book more highly." —Blogging Mets

"Gooden says he has been sober for over two years: ‘It’s a tough, relentless battle that I’m facing…but I am as well-armed as I can be.’ That directness, rarely seen in athlete-penned memoirs, distinguishes this book." —Publishers Weekly

"Gooden tells his story straightforwardly and seemingly honestly, and he mixes in entertaining stories of his encounters with baseball luminaries." —Kirkus Reviews

"How could you not like Dwight Gooden? There is no way. His disease took so much from him. He lost everything. And in spite of that, he is having this glorious recovery. He understands what’s really important in life–your family, your relationships, getting right with God, doing what you need to. He gets that now. It makes his story that much more tragic –and that much more inspiring." —Dr. Drew Pinsky

"The young Dwight Gooden was as beautiful to watch as any pitcher I have ever seen. The question seemed to be not whether he would make the Hall of fame but where he would rank among the very greatest pitchers who ever lived. In Doc, Gooden honestly confronts how and why the story didn’t quite turn out that way." —Bob Costas

"His stuff was electric. His control was unbelievable. He read hitters like a seasoned pro. He was the perfect citizen, always upbeat, always the first person at the ballpark. What happened next was the biggest shock of my baseball career." —Davey Johnson

"When I was in the batter’s box and Doc was throwing those inside fastballs at me, I wish I’d known what a damn nice guy he was. All I could think was ‘He must really hate me!'" —Pete Rose

"Doc went through so much adversity. To come all the way back and get that no-hitter—that moment taught me never to give up." —Mariano Rivera

Product Details

  • File Size: 604 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0544027027
  • Publisher: Amazon Publishing (June 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,312 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Disclaimer: I am a long time New York Mets fan who remembers, very clearly, watching Dwight Gooden pitch for the Mets beginning in the 1984 season. Like many long-suffering fans, I was anxious to see players like Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez, and Gary Carter lead the Mets to success as they developed strong teams the latter part of the decade, winning the World Series in 1986 and making the playoffs again in 1988. Dwight Gooden was a big reason for the Mets success, as he won the Rookie of the Year Award and Cy Young Award his first two years in the majors, and winning the "Triple Crown" for pitchers in 1985 as he led the league in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts.

Much has happened to Gooden since that championship year; the downward slide into alcohol and drug addiction, broken marriages, numerous arrests and run-ins with the police, and, most recently, induction into the Mets Hall of Fame and a stint on Dr. Drew's "Celebrity Rehab" television show.

In "Doc, A Memoir," Gooden, along with co-author Ellis Henican, detail the baseball star's life, from his somewhat wild upbringing in Tampa, Florida (as a five-year-old he witnessed his sister being shot by her husband), to being recognized as a pitching prodigy as a youngster, his entry into the major leagues at age 19, his successes on the field as well as numerous disappointments off of it.

Baseball fans familiar with Gooden's history will not be surprised by the content in this book. Gooden spares us none of the details and writes honestly about the pitfalls of dealing with fame, drinking, and drugs, and he is very clear that his dependencies cost him a shot at the baseball Hall of Fame.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When it comes those in the public eye they are not only an example of what type of success is possible but also how you can rise, fall and get back up stronger and more determined than ever.

I hadn't known of Dwight Gooden before reading the book DOC. Not being a big sports fan I was interested in his story and how he has been able to not just accomplish a lot but share his life lessons as well. I wasn't disappointed.

DOC is an in-your-face glimpse into the life of a man who seemed to succeed against all odds---and make a name for himself in the process. I learned from the book that he got the nickname Doc because of the way he performed on the field. A family friend named Dennis told Dwight's father that he "performed like a surgeon out there. Steady and smooth. Getting the job done." That is something that would stick with him.

Ironically there were times when Doc would have to operate on himself, cutting out that which threatened all that he had accomplished and the vices that could destroy him forever.

Part of what plagued Doc would be drug use. He writes: "When I did coke," he writes "I could never do just a line or two and say 'Enough.' I'd have been sneaking into the dugout, snorting lines every inning or two." It would be an issue that he dealt with for years, but he wouldn't give up.

Another thing we learn about Doc was how his faith developed. When it comes to being baptized he says this: "I wanted to feel like I belonged to a church. Up to then, I'd only belonged on teams...When I left the pew and walked toward the altar, the whole congregation stood and cheered. I'd been cheered in ballparks for various achievements. I'd been cheered at baseball card shows and sport award dinners.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insights Into Doc Gooden's Life May 23, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I hated the New York Mets growing up. I have always loved the LA Dodgers and a buddy of mine was a big NY Mets fan. He and I would sit and throw the baseball while naming the starting lineups for our team. I still remember him naming players such as Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Wally Backman, Santana, and of course, his starting pitcher was going to be Doc Gooden.

Gooden was a powerful pitcher. At the young age of 19 years old, he took the MLB world by storm. He had that overwhelming fastball and he was a terror while on the mound. Off the mound, I read his was quiet and reserved.

When the New York Mets won the 1986 World Series over Boston, Gooden was celebrated. While the Mets had their championship parade in New York City, Gooden was not there. He was out getting high on cocaine. Gooden was a drug addict.

This is the life of Dwight Gooden. It is the story of a baseball player who went to the top of the game and yet his passion for drugs was what led to his demise. It is a story of skill, a story of a pitcher who was a powerful force, and yet a story of a human being who suffered through his drug addiction. I believe that Doc could have been in the MLB Hall of Fame had he not been destroyed by drugs.

You will enjoy this story. You will love Doc's passion and yet cringe at his humanity. In the end, you too will appreciate the life of Doc Gooden and you'll ask yourself the same questions I did, "What could have been for this man?"
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always room at the table for Doc May 20, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I remember the first time, I saw Doc Gooden pitch. I was mesmerized. It was all fluid elbows, and knees. The ball darted and danced. 
I was mesmerized. His was the first baseball T shirt, I ever bought out of my own money. 
Then came the lows.
This memoir was brutally honest, If you grew up watching Doc ascend, fall and climb back up again, you can watch the pages unfold like a TV drama in your head. Of course, this real life drama isn't like a TV show. It hurts to read some of it. It's exciting to read some of it. 
It's sad to realize that he and Strawberry have lost a friendship. It's painful to read his honest words about the things he did with his children and with his father.
It's uplifting to read how he has put his life back together. If you are a baseball fan, this is a great book. If you are a NY sports fan, I think it's a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book!
Good, quick read, but very plain and self serving.
Published 22 days ago by Chip Salisbury
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Read the whole book but was sad commentary on our drug use culture.
Published 1 month ago by Bill Zeldow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great and inspirational read!
Published 1 month ago by Carolyn F Dyck-Maynard
4.0 out of 5 stars A very detailed story of a tormented soul. Sometimes ...
A very detailed story of a tormented soul. Sometimes a fans we don't realize how human our hero's really are.
Published 1 month ago by Richard Lousell
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Another story about an addicted athlete who is somewhat recovered. It's such a familiar story!
Published 1 month ago by J. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Third time's the charm?
This is Dwight Gooden's third book, although it's written as if it's his first and only. His first, to which he probably had minimal-to-no input, came out in 1985. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jason A. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best baseball books about retired players. Not too much play-by-play.
More about his personal life
Published 1 month ago by Gloria Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Item as described. Quick delivery. Thank you!
Published 1 month ago by Carol Hackworth
3.0 out of 5 stars Shampoo, rinse, repeat
Redundant is the word that first comes to mind upon finishing this book. I always hate to see someone with Doc's talent mess up with drugs and booze. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. D. Russell
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not the best bio. Just rambling on
Published 2 months ago by KyProv
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