Mets to retire numbers of Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, who won 1986 World Series

The New York Mets will retire two numbers for players from the 1986 World Series championship team, the club announced Thursday.

Outfielder Darryl Strawberry and right-handed pitcher Dwight Gooden will be immortalized at Citi Field when their respective numbers, No. 18 and No. 16, are retired at separate ceremonies next season. The dates have yet to be announced.

“Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden each had an enormous impact on our franchise and it’s my honor to continue our commitment to celebrating our wonderful history,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said in a statement.

Former Mets Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry greet for a post game ceremony after the last regular season baseball game ever played in Shea Stadium in 2008.

Former Mets Dwight Gooden and Daryl Strawberry greet for a post game ceremony after the last regular season baseball game ever played in Shea Stadium in 2008.

Both players were the National League Rookie of the Year when they entered the majors — Strawberry in 1983 when he hit a then-team rookie record 26 home runs and Gooden a year later when he tossed an MLB rookie record and league-leading 276 strikeouts.

The two men, who beat the Boston Red Sox to win the 1986 championship, shared their thoughts on receiving the news that they would have their numbers retired.

“I welled up with tears of joy,” Strawberry said. “I started to reflect on my journey through the organization. I had some ups and downs, but in the end, I am proud of my time in New York. I owe so much to Mets fans – they are simply the best. It’s really amazing to me that No. 18 will be forever remembered.”

“I was completely overwhelmed when I got the call,” Gooden said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the fans who supported me through the good times and bad times. I couldn’t have made it through without their encouragement. There is no greater honor a player can receive than having his number retired. It’s hard for me to express how honored and thankful I am to Steve and Alex (Cohen). This would make my mother and father extremely proud and I know they are looking down from heaven smiling.”

Strawberry was an All-Star in seven of eight seasons he played with the Mets. He is the club’s all-time home run leader, smacking 252 of them in the blue and orange and is second in RBI with 733. The product of Crenshaw, Calif. led the league in home runs in 1988 with 39. He went on to win three other World Series with the New York Yankees. He struggled with alcohol and substance abuse throughout his career and was suspended by the MLB three times. He retired after the 1999 season and served time in prison in 2002. He has been sober since then and uses his platform to share his journey of faith and raise awareness about addiction.

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Gooden played 11 seasons with the Mets and was a four-time All-Star. Besides his record-setting rookie year, he also led the league in strikeouts with 268 and had an ERA of 1.53 in 1985 when he won the NL Cy Young award. The Tampa Bay, Fla. native is second in several franchise records with 157 wins, 1,875 strikeouts, 67 complete games and 303 starts. He was suspended for the the 1995 season due to his own abuse of cocaine. He returned with the Yankees where he pitched a no-hitter and won the 1996 World Series with Strawberry. From there, he bounced around the league and retired in 2000 after winning a third championship, his second in pinstripes. He has also been vocal about his road to recovery.

Strawberry and Gooden will be the sixth and seventh players to have their numbers retired by the New York club. The Mets have already retired No. 41 for Tom Seaver, No. 31 for Mike Piazza, No. 36 for Jerry Koosman, No. 17 for Keith Hernandez and No. 24 for Willie Mays. They’ve also retried No. 14 for manager Gil Hodges and No. 37 for manager Casey Stengel. The No. 42 is retired by the entire MLB for Jackie Robinson.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mets to retire numbers of Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden

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