30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I love the 80's (Baseball Edition) #7 - Dwight Gooden

As I started to switch over from collector to investor in the mid 80's... Roger Clemens and Dwight Gooden were two of the hottest players in baseball. In the era where rookie cards reigned, both of these phenoms had rookie cards in all three major 1985 baseball card products... and if you were around in the hobby back then... most likely you were trying to add them to your collection.

But after watching the scene from Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing where Vito and Mookie debate the two aces... I knew I had to take a stand and choose between The Rocket & Dr. K.

I went with Doc and in terms of investment purposes, I obviously made the wrong decision. Back in the early 90's... Gooden's rookie cards sold for between $10 and $15 each. These days, you can pick up his Fleer or Donruss rookie cards for under $2 and his Topps rookie for under a buck.

Which surprises me, since Mr. Gooden has always been a fan favorite and has quite the portfolio to support he's far from a common player. Here are a few of his MLB records and awards:

Most Strikeouts by a Rookie: 276 (1984)
Rookie of the Year Award: 1984
Cy Young Award: 1985
Youngest Starting Pitcher in a MLB All-Star Game: 21 years, 7 months, 30 days (1986)
Silver Slugger Award: 1992
No-Hitter: 1996 (May 14th against the Seattle Mariners)
New York Mets Hall of Fame: 2010

From 1984 to 1991, Gooden was one of the most dominating pitchers in the league. He had a 132-54 record, 2.92 ERA, 1541 K's, and 21 shutouts over his first eight seasons, which very few pitchers can match. However he flamed out during the second half of his career going 62-58 from 1992 to 2000 with 752 K's, and 3 shutouts.

As fans, we can only speculate what might have been had Dwight Gooden avoided the drugs and alcohol... or if he didn't have battery and DWI charges, rape allegations, and multiple arrests.

But Gooden isn't my role model and he's a grown man. He has to live with the decisions he's made and I have to live with mine. And that decision was to soak my money into Gooden, instead of Clemens.

So what about you...

Were you a fan of Clemens, Gooden, both, or neither?

Happy Tuesday everyone... it's going to be hot this week here in the Bay Area. Stay cool & sayonara!


  1. I was a bit of a fan of Clemens. Never of Gooden. he was a Met after all.

  2. I hated Clemens for many reasons...
    I don't talk about this often, but as a kid in the 80s I was frequently at Shea Stadium with my Mom... Of course Doc and Straw and Mookie Wilson were my favorite players... My Mom LOVED Gary Carter. I remember saving for MONTHS to buy that 1984 Topps Traded card. I was SO proud of it - it was one of the highlights of my collection for a long time. I wouldn't mind picking another one up someday...
    The first card in the post was what caught my eye. Those cards, made by Nike, were also available as posters... The set included Doc, Michael Jordan and Lance Parrish. I know this because I had those 3 posters on my wall in 1985. The Lance Parrish one said :Tiger Catcher and had Parrish with a very big bengal tiger standing beside him... I was not a Tigers fan, but it was a cool poster. Anyway, Doc Gooden was AMAZING back then... I love that I got to see him pitch close up and in person in his prime. He was incredible... Great post Fuji... You and I need to do a trade soon. Shoot me a message. Cheers!

  3. I was more of a fan of the biggest rookie from 1985 (at the time) Eric Davis. I remember his Topps rookie being worth nearly $20 when I first started collecting. Clemens and Gooden were around $10 each and Puckett was around $5. The only players hotter than Davis from 86-87 in the hobby were Mattingly and Canseco.

  4. I sort of liked Clemens because he played for the Red Sox. But he seemed jerkish even back then, so I always kept that in mind.

    Gooden played for Mets teams I hated (vs. '86 Red Sox, vs. '88 Dodgers), so I didn't like him.

  5. I remember staring at that Fleer Update listing in the Beckett and dreaming of someday owning one of those $400 Clemens (or whatever insane price it reached). I was more a fan of Clemens than Gooden, even though I didn't have any strong preference until Gooden started having troubles.

  6. captain - i was more bothered that he became a yankee later in his career myself

    troll - those 84 topps goodens are super affordable these days... i just picked up the psa9 for $15.

    yeah... i remember seeing the gooden poster on someone's wall, when i was younger. i'm definitely down for a trade. i'll send you a message later on today.

    hiflew - great call... davis was hot back then... and one of these days i'd like to add an autograph and memorabilia card to my collection. his power and speed combination made him a hit with collectors

    night owl - i hear ya... i'm not a met's fan either... but at least he didn't play for the yankees (although he was a yankee, when he pitched the no hitter) earlier in his career... that would have totally killed it for me.

    ryan g - i can't even imagine the feeling i'd have if i paid $400 for the clemens... that would be so depressing. but i definitely remember those prices.