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!