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Doc: A Memoir

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With fresh (and sober) eyes, Dwight Gooden, who tallied a mountain of strikeouts while leading the 1986 bad-boy New York Mets to a World Series win, shares the most intimate moments of his successes and failures, from endless self-destructive drug binges to three World Series rings.


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With fresh (and sober) eyes, Dwight Gooden, who tallied a mountain of strikeouts while leading the 1986 bad-boy New York Mets to a World Series win, shares the most intimate moments of his successes and failures, from endless self-destructive drug binges to three World Series rings.

30 review for Doc: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    In nearly 40 years of Mets fandom, I have heard some very sad stories, but Dwight Gooden's story might be the saddest of all. After seeing him on a recent game broadcast, looking healthy and serene and giving expert and insightful commentary on Matt Harvey, who is being touted as Doc's own successor, I couldn't wait to read this. Warning: It is not an easy read. The prologue alone, telling the true story of Doc's notorious no-show at the World Series parade in 1986, is harrowing enough. And yet In nearly 40 years of Mets fandom, I have heard some very sad stories, but Dwight Gooden's story might be the saddest of all. After seeing him on a recent game broadcast, looking healthy and serene and giving expert and insightful commentary on Matt Harvey, who is being touted as Doc's own successor, I couldn't wait to read this. Warning: It is not an easy read. The prologue alone, telling the true story of Doc's notorious no-show at the World Series parade in 1986, is harrowing enough. And yet the story gets darker and more desperate for nearly all of its length. But it is, in the end, a story of the redemption that can come from the unlikeliest of places. And part of Gooden's hard-earned wisdom is the understanding of just how unlikely his recovery is. He acknowledges that there is no reason anyone should believe in him, and is deeply gratified to keep proving himself worthy of the trust of his children, his family and his fans. I have always cheered for Dwight Gooden, but I've cheered harder for him off the field than on.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I was a goodreads first reads winner of "Doc:A Memoir" I enjoy reading memoirs from all different avenues. This one is from Dwight "Doc" Gooden. I am not an expert on sports figures.But I did know that Dwight Gooden was a baseball player for the Mets. and other teams over the years. Mr.Gooden gave a good and honest memoir of his life. He had a partly good childhood with parents who loved him but witnessed some traumatic events during this time as well.{watching and older sister being shot by an I was a goodreads first reads winner of "Doc:A Memoir" I enjoy reading memoirs from all different avenues. This one is from Dwight "Doc" Gooden. I am not an expert on sports figures.But I did know that Dwight Gooden was a baseball player for the Mets. and other teams over the years. Mr.Gooden gave a good and honest memoir of his life. He had a partly good childhood with parents who loved him but witnessed some traumatic events during this time as well.{watching and older sister being shot by an enraged husband} He showed promise as a talented athlete growing up in pee-wee softball and baseball in high school. Eventually Dwight was drafted to the Mets. He proved to be an excellent pitcher for the teams working alongside famous players such as Darryl Strawberry , joe Torre, and Pete Rose. sadly fame and money brought other problems to "Doc' the introduction to drugs and alcohol, especially cocaine. Dwight Gooden spent a large portion of this book describing this addiction, trying to get off the cocaine only to get back to it for many years. It caused him run in with the law, jail time and the frictions it caused with his family and wives. Along the way he won World series games and rings. a stint on celebrity rehab. I found this a good read. I was glad that Mr, Gooden was honest about the demons to addiction he dealt with.and not painting himself as the "poor me victim" I know that had to be hard to do. Fans of Dwight Gooden may find this an interesting read. I did!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tucker Elliot

    I read this on my Kindle after borrowing it from the KOLL. The short version: This is an incredible book. I'm a diehard baseball fan, so that helps -- but it's genuinely a heartbreaking story of pain and redemption with a message that resonates far beyond the realm of sports. The long version: As a kid living in Tampa I was one of Dwight Gooden's biggest fans. We'd see the Mets in spring training and again when they'd travel to Atlanta during the regular season -- and every time we were lucky enou I read this on my Kindle after borrowing it from the KOLL. The short version: This is an incredible book. I'm a diehard baseball fan, so that helps -- but it's genuinely a heartbreaking story of pain and redemption with a message that resonates far beyond the realm of sports. The long version: As a kid living in Tampa I was one of Dwight Gooden's biggest fans. We'd see the Mets in spring training and again when they'd travel to Atlanta during the regular season -- and every time we were lucky enough to see Doc pitch or throw a bullpen session I'd go home in sheer awe and spend hours with my brothers talking about how we'd just seen a living legend. He'd won everything that mattered and was only 21 years old. So when his messy private life began impacting his career and seeping its way into the public eye, my entire family was literally devastated. And why is that? It's exactly as Doc writes in his memoir: his love and passion for baseball was passed down in his family "from father to son and father to son." I'd spent countless hours dissecting Doc's mechanics with my dad and brothers, trying to emulate them. We'd bought his posters and hung them on our walls. We'd collected all his baseball cards, got him to sign them for us in the parking lot outside the Mets old spring training facility in St. Petersburg and again when they moved to Port St. Lucie. And my dad encouraged this and worked hard to give us such opportunities to watch our heroes play and meet them in person. So absolutely, when my parents realized Doc was a drug addict and an alcoholic the posters came off the walls and we stopped collecting his memorabilia. Later, after I'd gone to college and began teaching in rural Florida, it was incomprehensible but true that for a period of time I'd drive by Doc's "residence" every day on my way to work ... his residence at the time of course was a work-prison just outside Gainesville, FL. As kids we'd talk endlessly about his talent, but as adults we revisited those conversations countless times only to talk about the tragedy of a wasted life. In this courageous memoir, however, Doc shows that his mistakes were not beyond redemption, that he's gained purpose and meaning in his current life, and he offers inspiration for anyone who's struggled with personal demons. I hope he's closed this painful chapter in his life for good -- and I commend him for his brutal honesty and heartfelt emotion in writing this terrific memoir.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    This is a book that intriguiged me because Dwight Gooden and I are the same age. He was a phenominal pitcher as a 19 year-old rookie with the New York Mets. I ended up going to several NY Mets games at Shea Stadium in 1989 when I lived on the East Coast. I was able to get a signed baseball from Gooden that said, "To Shaun, best wishes, Dwight Gooden." He then passed this baseball around the dugout and had 3 other prominent Mets players sign it. Gooden ended up having a career full of highs and l This is a book that intriguiged me because Dwight Gooden and I are the same age. He was a phenominal pitcher as a 19 year-old rookie with the New York Mets. I ended up going to several NY Mets games at Shea Stadium in 1989 when I lived on the East Coast. I was able to get a signed baseball from Gooden that said, "To Shaun, best wishes, Dwight Gooden." He then passed this baseball around the dugout and had 3 other prominent Mets players sign it. Gooden ended up having a career full of highs and lows, especially after he got involved in heavy alcohol and drug use. I felt bad to see him be so good, then squander it all away and fall so low. The memoir is really touching, because it tells a story of a guy my age, who struggles with daily decisions about life, family, career, makes some really bad decisions, yet he is a great guy at heart. It is inspiring to hear his story of addiction and how this disease is something he's come to terms with and is able to now make good decisions in spite of everything. Sports stars are really just regular people in the end and I found Doc's memoir honest, refreshing, and heart-warming. This is truly a gem and you don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it. I highly recommend this book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gil Bradshaw

    This book was so awesome while he was a child and then as soon as he went off to the big leagues he started drinking and doing coke and it unraveled pretty fast. Honestly it made my head spin to listen to all his relapses. It so happens I’ve been helping and addict recover this past few years and it has been so sad so this book gave me a lot of insight into an addict’s mind. It made me pray for Doc Gooden because he will be in recovery for a long time. I am really pulling for him. This book is r This book was so awesome while he was a child and then as soon as he went off to the big leagues he started drinking and doing coke and it unraveled pretty fast. Honestly it made my head spin to listen to all his relapses. It so happens I’ve been helping and addict recover this past few years and it has been so sad so this book gave me a lot of insight into an addict’s mind. It made me pray for Doc Gooden because he will be in recovery for a long time. I am really pulling for him. This book is really fun if you collected baseball cards like I did during those years.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bridson

    I was nine when Doc Gooden took the baseball world by storm. I was in the full throes of baseball hero worship and I remember rushing down to the neighborhood drugstore with my friend to buy baseball cards. Doc Gooden's card was one we especially coveted. This book is an interesting read about someone who was given so much at a young age and his rocky path since then. I was nine when Doc Gooden took the baseball world by storm. I was in the full throes of baseball hero worship and I remember rushing down to the neighborhood drugstore with my friend to buy baseball cards. Doc Gooden's card was one we especially coveted. This book is an interesting read about someone who was given so much at a young age and his rocky path since then.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Wiertel

    A riveting portrait of addiction.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luke Koran

    In one of the most brutally-honest autobiographies of our generation, the once-promising baseball star Dwight “Doc” Gooden details for the entire world his complete life story, with incredible detail addressing the very real, sad journey of a drug and alcohol addict who has FINALLY begun the true road to recovery. In terms of a baseball (auto)biography, this book and its authors hit a home run. Baseball truly was everything for “Dr. K”, beginning from a very early age with daily practices and les In one of the most brutally-honest autobiographies of our generation, the once-promising baseball star Dwight “Doc” Gooden details for the entire world his complete life story, with incredible detail addressing the very real, sad journey of a drug and alcohol addict who has FINALLY begun the true road to recovery. In terms of a baseball (auto)biography, this book and its authors hit a home run. Baseball truly was everything for “Dr. K”, beginning from a very early age with daily practices and lessons with his father. The journey from Little League to the 1986 World Series to his lengthy though tumultuous major league career is thoroughly and enjoyably covered. Doc’s second chance - at both a playing career and front office position - with the New York Yankees will likely be of particular interest to readers, as well as insight into his relationship with owner George Steinbrenner. Lastly, Gooden’s induction into the New York Mets Hall of Fame, as well as a personal reflection on his friendship with fellow teammate Darryl Strawberry, are all featured in this book. Gooden’s love for baseball and all aspects of his playing career are included in these 280 pages - not just confined to the first 100 pages like some sporting autobiographies tend to do. However, this book is so much more than baseball. It’s about life. It’s about family. It’s about addiction and rehabilitation and the long road to and of recovery. It’s about a good man trying to fix what went wrong in his life and help others in not making the same mistakes. Dwight Gooden is an inspiration for merely having the courage to openly express all of the deepest, darkest corners of his life, accepting responsibility, and looking at ways to move forward in the most positive of ways. Many times, the reader is pained at seeing how difficult Doc’s life really is. Addiction doesn’t affect everyone the same way, but unfortunately, Doc was affected in the worse of ways. Though he may be completely sober from the influence of drugs and alcohol now, the temptations are there in his face every single day. We should all have newfound respect for what our fellow man may go through in their lives - even those with Hall of Fame credentials can have very difficult battles just underneath the surface. Thank you Doc, for sharing this incredible, honest memoir. We are all wishing you the best in recovery. Win. Every. Day.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Asa McMahon

    Doc: a Memoir by Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican can be summed up as a long-winded apology letter to Gooden's family, friends and fans for the destruction his drug addiction caused. As a die-hard fan, I still wonder how many championships the Mets would have won had Gooden's unlimited potential been realized. But this is a story much larger than winning and losing baseball games. It's about overcoming a drug addiction that for Gooden was much more challenging than any hitter he faced in the batt Doc: a Memoir by Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican can be summed up as a long-winded apology letter to Gooden's family, friends and fans for the destruction his drug addiction caused. As a die-hard fan, I still wonder how many championships the Mets would have won had Gooden's unlimited potential been realized. But this is a story much larger than winning and losing baseball games. It's about overcoming a drug addiction that for Gooden was much more challenging than any hitter he faced in the batter's box. From my own central New York perspective, the most interesting passage of this book was when Gooden relapsed and snorted cocaine with two strippers before driving up to Binghamton for a rehab start in 1994. Gooden admitted to doing all kinds of crazy things so he could get high. Unfortunately, Gooden viewed his friends and family members as his enemy because they were the people who most often got in his way of obtaining the high he was craving. Remember the Sports Illustrated ad in the mid 1980's that shows Gooden firing a pitch towards home plate with the question: What does it feel like to look down the barrel of a loaded gun? I remember it clearly because growing up in New York during that time, I was in awe of Gooden's phenomenal talent. The gun metaphor the ad used to describe his explosive right arm definitely rang true. Before reading this book I mistakenly thought that Gooden's drug habit was an evil by-product of his rapid rise to fame in New York City. Instead it was the traumatic experience of witnessing a real gun shot seriously wound his older sister when he was just five years old that triggered Gooden's drug addiction later on in his life. Ultimately it was this realization that led to his recovery. Gooden attributes his clean lifestyle now to the wisdom he has gained through maturity and a greater spiritual awareness. He also credits his appearance on the Celebrity Rehab MTV show in which Dr. Drew finds the root cause of his addiction and starts the healing process. I don't think anyone who reads this book would be surprised if Dwight Gooden relapses in the future. And to his credit Gooden recognizes that there will always be doubters. We all have our addictions; (coffee, Facebook, fantasy baseball) some are just way more harmful than others. I admire how Dwight Gooden is facing his demons head on with a large support network. He is using his story to be a good example for others so they do not have to go through what he did. Even though it's been many years since he donned the Mets orange and blue, I'm still rooting for Dwight Gooden.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brian Eshleman

    This story is engaging like an ambulance wreck in the other lane is engaging. It is sad and tragic, but it is not so well-told that the writing itself or the insights of the author would recommend itself independent of pathos. It was interesting, and ironic, to learn what an introvert this superstar athlete was. The mismatch between this temperament and his exposure, even overexposure, every five days at the center of the baseball diamond at the tender age of 19 went a long way toward explaining This story is engaging like an ambulance wreck in the other lane is engaging. It is sad and tragic, but it is not so well-told that the writing itself or the insights of the author would recommend itself independent of pathos. It was interesting, and ironic, to learn what an introvert this superstar athlete was. The mismatch between this temperament and his exposure, even overexposure, every five days at the center of the baseball diamond at the tender age of 19 went a long way toward explaining his series of sad, incremental decisions to self-medicate anxiety with drugs. After the fact, he also relates that the lack of structure in his life when he only had to "work" every fifth day and be so richly rewarded with attention was not good for him. He never developed another passion or even a hobby, and belatedly he sees the cost of this. The stuff we "do" to athletes by so over-rewarding one aspect of their person and neglecting or indulging the rest of them! Dwight Gooden manages to point these things out without using them as a constant excuse. Granted, he also lacks repentance that would come across as a total and genuine, especially given his vague references toward the end of the book to coming to terms with the Christian faith. One hopes by the book's end that the author is finally seeing a pattern in his own weaknesses and admitting to them as a delayed adult, but Dwight Gooden has been in the news just recently for eviction because he failed to pay his rent for six months. This read was definitely a cause for prayer and a warning away from wishing for extraordinary athletic talent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Really great read, it only made me like Doc Gooden more. I can definitely understand how he could turn to drugs & alcohol after everything he experienced as a child. And I understand putting the pressure to do great after everyone keeps telling you how great you are, expectations are high & you want to please everyone especially your parents. I learned a lot about addiction & how it affects people differently & how they think. Doc seems like a genuinely nice guy who just has a problem that is go Really great read, it only made me like Doc Gooden more. I can definitely understand how he could turn to drugs & alcohol after everything he experienced as a child. And I understand putting the pressure to do great after everyone keeps telling you how great you are, expectations are high & you want to please everyone especially your parents. I learned a lot about addiction & how it affects people differently & how they think. Doc seems like a genuinely nice guy who just has a problem that is going to haunt him for a while. I only hope that he is doing well & continues with his treatment.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Doc tells an honest story of his life. Many more drugs, trauma, and lasting more years than I thought. The book is well written and describes his feelings and struggles very well. Drug and alcohol addiction can last for many years - even a lifetime. His description of his time at the Mets, particularly with Davey Johnson. It was amazing to hear how patient Steinbrenner was with him during his time with the Yankees. He is finally on the right path and is working to make it work for the rest of his Doc tells an honest story of his life. Many more drugs, trauma, and lasting more years than I thought. The book is well written and describes his feelings and struggles very well. Drug and alcohol addiction can last for many years - even a lifetime. His description of his time at the Mets, particularly with Davey Johnson. It was amazing to hear how patient Steinbrenner was with him during his time with the Yankees. He is finally on the right path and is working to make it work for the rest of his life. It is hard to know how to reach someone in the depth of addiction. In this case he has finally done it himself and with the support of many. I won't give away the way in which it happens, but many readers may already know. If you've followed his career or read the headlines, the background of what was going on makes for fascinating reading. Perhaps 5 stars is over enthusiastic. But I'm a recovering NY Mets fan.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    I'd hoped that a book by the Mets pitcher I'd pretty much idolized in the 80's would be full of interesting stories about pitching for one of the most exciting, controversial teams in baseball history. What I got instead was a book that was about 25% baseball, and 75% about drug addiction and recovery. I can understand that drugs were as much a part of Dr. K's life as baseball, but after also having recently read Mike Tyson spill everything about his addictions in his autobiography, I was disapp I'd hoped that a book by the Mets pitcher I'd pretty much idolized in the 80's would be full of interesting stories about pitching for one of the most exciting, controversial teams in baseball history. What I got instead was a book that was about 25% baseball, and 75% about drug addiction and recovery. I can understand that drugs were as much a part of Dr. K's life as baseball, but after also having recently read Mike Tyson spill everything about his addictions in his autobiography, I was disappointed to read more of the same from Gooden. I wish Dwight the best in his recovery, and remain a fan of his, but his book seemed too much an apology to his family and his fans than an interesting read about one of the most promising, and exciting, pitchers to play the game.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jami

    This was an excellent book. I love baseball, although I'm more of a Yankee than a Mets fan; it was still interesting to hear all of the familiar names mentioned and to learn interesting tidbits abut the players and their lifestyles. I knew that Dwight had gone through some difficult times, but I had no idea of the extent of it until I listened to this book. I often wonder how people who seem to have it all - talent, money, fame, friends, and family - can throw it all away on alcohol and/or drugs This was an excellent book. I love baseball, although I'm more of a Yankee than a Mets fan; it was still interesting to hear all of the familiar names mentioned and to learn interesting tidbits abut the players and their lifestyles. I knew that Dwight had gone through some difficult times, but I had no idea of the extent of it until I listened to this book. I often wonder how people who seem to have it all - talent, money, fame, friends, and family - can throw it all away on alcohol and/or drugs. His story helped me to understand how it can happen and the power that addiction has over someone. I was happy that the book ended on such a positive note and hope that he continues with the positive changes in his life!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    In the summer when I needed to be inside after playing in the heat all day, I was always able to turn on TBS and watch Braves baseball. One time, I was able to see the most electrifying pitcher ever seen pitch to that point in my life...Doctor K. I was hooked, could not get enough of the Mets and Doc Gooden. It pains me to read some of the issues he has encountered in his life, but it is great to see that he is on the right path as of the books publication. A little vague in some areas, would ha In the summer when I needed to be inside after playing in the heat all day, I was always able to turn on TBS and watch Braves baseball. One time, I was able to see the most electrifying pitcher ever seen pitch to that point in my life...Doctor K. I was hooked, could not get enough of the Mets and Doc Gooden. It pains me to read some of the issues he has encountered in his life, but it is great to see that he is on the right path as of the books publication. A little vague in some areas, would have loved more "baseball" stories, but the book provided a great overview of Gooden's life.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbikat60

    Brutal I was all set to say what a loser he is until I thought about how I missed away a college scholarship, got kicked out of two homes because of my drinking and drugging. Had abortions because I had unwanted pregnancies due drunken and unprotected sex, became homeless, got arrested more than once due to my drinking, relapsed MANY TIMES, I have no right to pass judgment on this man. I winced at many paragraphs and because of that, Dwight Gooden helped me stay sober. Baseball fans and recoverin Brutal I was all set to say what a loser he is until I thought about how I missed away a college scholarship, got kicked out of two homes because of my drinking and drugging. Had abortions because I had unwanted pregnancies due drunken and unprotected sex, became homeless, got arrested more than once due to my drinking, relapsed MANY TIMES, I have no right to pass judgment on this man. I winced at many paragraphs and because of that, Dwight Gooden helped me stay sober. Baseball fans and recovering addicts will get a lot from this book. I am both and I know I did.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This is the same old story, be it about an athlete or a musician. A young lower middle class kid makes the big time and suddenly has what seems like unending money, sex and drugs. He simply is overwhelmed and soon spins out of control. It took too long for me to finish this book. It was a chore. The writing had no feel, no rhythm, no pace to pull me along. Reading this book was for me like eating oatmeal with no sweetener of any kind......Michael

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

    Dwight bares it all, addiction, trauma, baseball stardom, and more. Interesting tidbits - he definitely didn't experience an honest side of Darryl Strawberry, he had some major baseball pitching accomplishments, trauma work truly sparked his recovery work. The book unfortunately is written rather flat and dry. There are home-run moments, but they are separated with lots of strike outs as well. Dwight bares it all, addiction, trauma, baseball stardom, and more. Interesting tidbits - he definitely didn't experience an honest side of Darryl Strawberry, he had some major baseball pitching accomplishments, trauma work truly sparked his recovery work. The book unfortunately is written rather flat and dry. There are home-run moments, but they are separated with lots of strike outs as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    William

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug. I'd always heard the stories about Doc Gooden's cocaine and alcohol addictions, but to hear him tell the stories himself is something different. I never realized he struggled with his addiction for so many years. He's fortunate to still be alive. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. I'd always heard the stories about Doc Gooden's cocaine and alcohol addictions, but to hear him tell the stories himself is something different. I never realized he struggled with his addiction for so many years. He's fortunate to still be alive.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    Well, the book's okay, but not actually what I was hoping for. I remember when this kid came up. What a hell of a rookie year he had (and his second year was basically as good if not more so). You want strike outs? Serious freaking heat! He went from a name to a recognized world sensation in a month! It wasn't long after that, with Daryl Strawberry supplying the lumber and former Expo catcher, Gary Carter, smacking a few out while providing clubhouse leadership, that they beat the Red Sox to win Well, the book's okay, but not actually what I was hoping for. I remember when this kid came up. What a hell of a rookie year he had (and his second year was basically as good if not more so). You want strike outs? Serious freaking heat! He went from a name to a recognized world sensation in a month! It wasn't long after that, with Daryl Strawberry supplying the lumber and former Expo catcher, Gary Carter, smacking a few out while providing clubhouse leadership, that they beat the Red Sox to win their first World Series in 25 universes...? Seemed that way. I'm not a Mets fan, but this kid -- they were starting to call him "Doc" -- was a once in a life-timer. And then he seemed to just start to fade away. Eventually disappear. 15 minutes. I guess I wanted to really hear about his coming up to the majors and his incredible rookie year, and on to the Series, instead of opening the book to him passed out in a drug den doped up and too screwed up to make it to the stadium for the big game. It's not that that's not important or what Gooden clearly wanted to do with his book. And it's his prerogative to do that, sure. But it's my prerogative too, as a consumer, to not care too much because that scene has been written about a thousand times in a thousand sports and entertainer's books, while few of them ever approached the level of success he had in his first two years. It's not that his focus isn't valid -- it is. It's just, been there, done that a million damn times with players not even worth 10% of him, and I just wanted to read about a rookie season for the ages. I'm actually kind of sick of all of these screwed up athletes ruining their careers and lives and then NOT writing about what made them interesting when they were able to play, but instead writing almost exclusively on how down the gutter they all fell and what it took for them to make it back. And again, I don't want to invalidate that. I've got my own stories too. But when reading a memoir of an athlete of this stature, I really just don't want another "Insert pages of last athlete's memoir, replace author/athlete names with current one, change book jacket, sell." They're redundant after awhile, so you almost start to not care anymore because you become so desensitized to it. Which is sad. I only wanted to read something fun for once, something decent, exciting, celebrating an amazing accomplishment instead of just another book on an athlete destroying their careers and lives. Hell, I predicted this exact outcome, but as I write this, former Steeler All Pros Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell just finished their first season after "escaping" evil cheap little Pittsburgh and neither of them really understood that they WEREN'T the damn straw the stirred the drink -- they were an overall part of the drink, every part of the drink is replaceable, and frankly, Brown's bitching about Ben really ticked me off because without Ben throwing him the ball -- and Ben had PLENTY of other high drafted, very talented people to throw to, many of whom went on to become 1,000 and/or Pro Bowl receivers, often with another team rather than staying with the Steelers for their entire career -- like respectable Hines Ward did, Stallworth, etc. The point is, Brown owes practically all of his stats to the 6th best QB in NFL history and possible the best offensive line for any one decade in NFL history, with three annual All Pros, two other decade-long starters, 2-3 going to the Hall of Fame one day? They thought they could spit in Pittsburgh's face for whatever greedy, elitist reasons and continue to duplicate their numbers nearly ANYWHERE else? They obviously don't have good agents or advisors because I would have bet my house that neither would do crap and that they just nuked their careers and their once probably HOF destinies due to total idiocy. See, we see a few Doc's every year. And it's not that they're story, especially if redemptive, isn't good, valid or interesting. I just wanted a good view into that incredible year for once rather than the downside of fame and riches. A different take. On something that I actually care about because I've seen and been around enough misery throughout my life around this planet to think there's too much special about the redemptive stories -- a ton of people could write the same thing -- but they are the only ones who can write about what it was that made them household names. Whatever, I guess it's just me. It's an okay book but I'm kind of over these types of celebrity autobiographies, so while I want to give this book two stars for ticking me off, that's subjective and probably not fair to the author, so I'll give it three, but know what you're getting before you get it so you don't make the same mistake I did...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kev Willoughby

    Very honest, raw self-assessment of his own life and baseball career, both of which had so much promise so many years ago. In spite of Doc's struggles with drug addiction, I have more respect for him after reading this book because of his honesty and humility regarding his failures to overcome his giant. As a kid growing up in the 80s, all I knew of Doc Gooden was what I saw on the field. He was easily one of the most dominant pitchers I have ever seen play in my lifetime, even to this day. In h Very honest, raw self-assessment of his own life and baseball career, both of which had so much promise so many years ago. In spite of Doc's struggles with drug addiction, I have more respect for him after reading this book because of his honesty and humility regarding his failures to overcome his giant. As a kid growing up in the 80s, all I knew of Doc Gooden was what I saw on the field. He was easily one of the most dominant pitchers I have ever seen play in my lifetime, even to this day. In his personal life, however, his addiction was much more dominating and intense of an opponent for him to overcome than an opposing lineup could ever be. I feel sympathy for his frustrations, but admiration that he still strives for victory as of the writing of this book. Doc's life serves as a warning that no one is above the powerful draw of any temptation and that "just one time" is all that it can take to derail the great potential of a person's life forever, whether that person is a sports icon or not. Because of the choices he made throughout his younger years, Gooden will likely never reach enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the damage his family has experienced through those same years is heartbreaking. Yet none of us are immune to his plight. Temptation lurks for all of us in different ways because we all have different weaknesses, but the life-altering consequences of yielding to temptation are as dangerous to us as they have been to Dwight Gooden. Gooden does a great job from cover to cover of emphasizing the importance of making good choices and never letting your guard down, no matter the situation. I wish him all the best in the future. He still has a great platform and opportunity to reach so many people. May he always use it for good.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Okay, so, I'm not a baseball fan (or, you know, sports of any kind really), but everyone in my family is, and so I absorbed quite a bit about it during the time Dwight Gooden was at his peak. That's to say, I knew of him, remember him being good, and that he played for the Mets, but that's about it. I think this was an audible daily deal at some point awhile back, and I like biographies, so that's why I read this, although I put it off for a couple of years because ugh, baseball. But I was pleasa Okay, so, I'm not a baseball fan (or, you know, sports of any kind really), but everyone in my family is, and so I absorbed quite a bit about it during the time Dwight Gooden was at his peak. That's to say, I knew of him, remember him being good, and that he played for the Mets, but that's about it. I think this was an audible daily deal at some point awhile back, and I like biographies, so that's why I read this, although I put it off for a couple of years because ugh, baseball. But I was pleasantly surprised! I mean, this is mostly about him dealing with cocaine and not baseball, but Gooden tells his story really well, and it's an action-packed, interesting, sad, hopeful, and kind of beautiful one so far. I found him really likable (except for the chapter near the end where he basically details all the ways Daryl Strawberry has wronged him over the years despite all the ways Gooden's been a good friend to him--that all may be true, but it felt totally unnecessary and like the airing of dirty laundry, you know? I mean, Strawberry might be a self-absorbed jerk, but I didn't feel like that really had a place in the story Gooden was telling) and I certainly hope he remains clean and sober and a good dad to his kids and stuff. Great narration too! I'm glad I finally got around to reading this--I had no idea Gooden had such a great story to tell.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barb Beyer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. From the Heart! This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it! It's Dwight Gooden's true story of his remarkable years as a pitcher for the Mets, and his struggle to stay away from the drugs and alcohol that shortened his career, and almost took his life. Like many others, Gooden struggled to stay clean. He went to many different rehabs but nothing ever worked. He finally went into a program that he took seriously, and it turned out that this one actually changed his life! And it was Celeb From the Heart! This was an excellent book and I highly recommend it! It's Dwight Gooden's true story of his remarkable years as a pitcher for the Mets, and his struggle to stay away from the drugs and alcohol that shortened his career, and almost took his life. Like many others, Gooden struggled to stay clean. He went to many different rehabs but nothing ever worked. He finally went into a program that he took seriously, and it turned out that this one actually changed his life! And it was Celebrity Rehab! So his recovery there was constantly being filmed for the television show! But it worked! He fought for his sobriety and his life, and he has been doing good - at least at the time of the release of this book. I enjoyed the pace of the the book and Goodens humble attitude throughout. He is a class act. I'm very happy he's healthy and sober. This is not just another book about addiction. Highly recommended

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jason Röhde

    Doc, don't go into that room! Avoid those ladies. Okay you've been busted and are clean now, great. Wait, don't go into that strip club! Aghh!!! After a stunning introduction that hits like a cold shower, Dwight Gooden provides an unabashed glimpse at his rise to fame and crash to rock bottom. It's a long and winding road of addiction, lies, avoidance, and what could have been. But Doc doesn't feel sorry for himself, he lays it out and explains what happened and why. He seems to be in a happy plac Doc, don't go into that room! Avoid those ladies. Okay you've been busted and are clean now, great. Wait, don't go into that strip club! Aghh!!! After a stunning introduction that hits like a cold shower, Dwight Gooden provides an unabashed glimpse at his rise to fame and crash to rock bottom. It's a long and winding road of addiction, lies, avoidance, and what could have been. But Doc doesn't feel sorry for himself, he lays it out and explains what happened and why. He seems to be in a happy place, and though I'm not a Mets or Yankees fan, I find myself rooting for him and wishing I had appreciated his greatness when he was in the bigs. I love reading baseball biographies and this was not easy to read/hear. If you enjoy bio's and can handle an often cringe-worthy read about someone in the throes addiction, it's a solid 3.5 star read. Stay strong Doc!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rowan V.

    This book Doc was about a kid from Tampa who loved baseball, played his whole life, made it to the pros, his first 2 seasons were incredible, could have been the best pitcher ever, then started to use Cocaine. The memoir was a story of his life and how went downhill so fast after starting to use Cocaine. He is sober now, and reflecting all of the bad decisions he has made during his lifetime, and what he could have been. He goes through very bad times in this book, and also very good ones. Doc u This book Doc was about a kid from Tampa who loved baseball, played his whole life, made it to the pros, his first 2 seasons were incredible, could have been the best pitcher ever, then started to use Cocaine. The memoir was a story of his life and how went downhill so fast after starting to use Cocaine. He is sober now, and reflecting all of the bad decisions he has made during his lifetime, and what he could have been. He goes through very bad times in this book, and also very good ones. Doc uses his story in this book to teach a lesson, to stay positive and never use drugs. Doc says that telling his story and speaking about all the bad decisions he has made is the only therapy that helps him, its his way of staying sober. This book was very good, and it also taught an important lesson, it was overall one of the best books I have read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    K

    It embarrasses me to admit, I had no idea who Dwight Gooden was before I started reading this book. My excuse is that I didn’t follow baseball when he began his career and I’ve never followed Mets baseball. That being said, I continued reading because it kept me interested. And once he started talking about his addiction struggles, I was all in. Addiction is a terrible thing to deal with, and something those of us who aren’t going through, can never fully comprehend. Doc’s story did a great job It embarrasses me to admit, I had no idea who Dwight Gooden was before I started reading this book. My excuse is that I didn’t follow baseball when he began his career and I’ve never followed Mets baseball. That being said, I continued reading because it kept me interested. And once he started talking about his addiction struggles, I was all in. Addiction is a terrible thing to deal with, and something those of us who aren’t going through, can never fully comprehend. Doc’s story did a great job of showing just how hard it is to get clean and stay clean. I broke into tears so many times because my heart was filled with pain for what he, and all addicts, go through. Story-wise I would have given this 5 stars, but the writing quality was a 3 or 4, so my final rating is 4 stars.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rob Pruden

    This is a tough book to review; I have a great fondness for the '86 Mets and that era of baseball and I have my fair share of addiction and twelve step knowledge, and my biggest beef is that I felt that this book did not delve deep enough. Then just yesterday as I was looking for some Youtube video of Gooden I stumbled into articles suggesting that twice in July 2019 he got arrested for drug use and the sadness that this man has yet to heal is deep. Ultimately this is an incredibly sad tale whic This is a tough book to review; I have a great fondness for the '86 Mets and that era of baseball and I have my fair share of addiction and twelve step knowledge, and my biggest beef is that I felt that this book did not delve deep enough. Then just yesterday as I was looking for some Youtube video of Gooden I stumbled into articles suggesting that twice in July 2019 he got arrested for drug use and the sadness that this man has yet to heal is deep. Ultimately this is an incredibly sad tale which so illuminates the allure of a disease that can destroy a life. I pray that some day he heals

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael Charles Yett

    This book took me back to my young adult days, well the 80's. This person had talent that blew the baseball and sport world away in the early 80's. It's the life he fell into outside of the greatness that proved to the world he was just another person struggling with the times. It's frustrating for me to read about this because it is so real. I kept reading it hoping for a different outcome. The authors is still living so the story continues. This book took me back to my young adult days, well the 80's. This person had talent that blew the baseball and sport world away in the early 80's. It's the life he fell into outside of the greatness that proved to the world he was just another person struggling with the times. It's frustrating for me to read about this because it is so real. I kept reading it hoping for a different outcome. The authors is still living so the story continues.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chaim Wachtel

    Not your typical sports autobiography Having grown up in NYC in the 80’s, even as a Yankee fan, one couldn’t help following Doc in 84 and 85 .. then all the trouble began in 87. I remember being out one night with friends in Boston and seeing Doc on the nightly news... we all thought he had been arrested or died. Little did we know he had thrown a no hitter. Anyone, who remembers Doc from his playing days, will enjoy this book about his hard road to sobriety

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimmy

    What a nice man! He means well, has a great heart, loves his family, but is afflicted with a disease. It’s sad that this book is 2013 and he is clean for 2 years. The 30 for 30 Doc & Darryl came out in 2016 and I don’t know if he was using at that time. Now it’s in the news that he’s relapsed in 2019. I worry that he’ll be found dead one day before his time. I wish Darryl would not comment about Doc’s drug status anymore; it keeps Doc upset.

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