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Vacation Book Review

doc

I picked up Doc: A Memoir by Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican a few months ago, but I waited until my long Michigan vacation to read it. I knew that the book would not be an easy read, as Gooden struggled with a drug addiction for most of his adult life. The book starts with an introduction: The 1986 Mets have just won their second World Series (the first was by the 1969 “Miracle” Mets team) and Dwight Gooden misses the ticker tape parade after snorting lines of coke all night.

Mr. Gooden laid it all out right there in the opening pages; he was in the grip of a demon. Despite several stints in various treatment programs, he didn’t get that demon off his back until appearing on VH1’s Celebrity Rehab in 2011. Doc: A Memoir chronicles his rise and fall and his struggle to become the father his seven children deserve.

1986 was a special year for me also; my first child, Emmalyn Rose, was born March 21, 1986. I was married to a die-hard Mets fan that had gone to one of the “Miracle” Mets World Series games in 1969. That October, Emi’s dad and I watched every game of the playoffs and were thrilled by the athleticism of Dwight Gooden, Mookie Wilson, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Darryl Strawberry, Jesse Orosco, Wally Backman, Rafael Santana, Roger McDowell, Howard Johnson, and Lenny Dykstra.

In subsequent years, we followed Gooden’s career and his struggles with his addiction to cocaine. The early promise of Dwight Gooden’s career was swallowed up by those struggles, but I never quit rooting for him. I was touched by the honesty in the book and I think that honesty is the factor that will keep him drug free. I thank him for sharing his story and being a beacon for others.

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