By In Stuff

Favorite Athlete: Dwight Gooden

When I was 10 years old, my favorite athlete was the star pitcher for my hometown Mets, Dwight Gooden. I then felt betrayed by his drug use, disappointed by his decline, and moderately annoyed by his comeback with the crosstown Yankees … but all these years later, the betrayal and disappointment and annoyance have long faded. I understand Gooden is a flawed human, and “flawed human” is redundant. We never love an athlete as purely as we loved our favorite athlete when we were 10. When I was 10, Dwight Gooden was my favorite. I still think of him that way.

— Michael Rosenberg is a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated and author of the excellent War As They Knew It about the Woody Hayes-Bo Schembechler rivalry.

3 Responses to Favorite Athlete: Dwight Gooden

  1. I loved Doc. I was too young to know what to make of his fall (and hated it when he pitched a no-hitter for the friggin Yankees), but I take some serious Mets fan pride in his ’85 season. And there’s not a lot out there to take SMFP in.

  2. I’ll do mine. Here’s 95 words on Martin Brodeur:

    Marty Brodeur was the first athlete who I saw as a mad genius. He managed to take a position that is all about reacting, and turn it into a spastic, but controlled dance. I don’t know of another athlete, especially in a team sport, that has caused more changes to the game than he has, and I take that as a sign that Brodeur was one of hockey’s great thinkers. I’m perpetually charmed by how frequently he tries to score a goal or at least hit a winger on a long pass down the ice.

  3. Sara says:

    When I started playing little league softball (age 8?), I had a red-and-black mitt with Dwight Gooden’s signature on it. Thinking back, he was probably the first MLB player I ever knew of!

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