Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden—Together Again

rad Penner-USA Today Sports via Reuters
rad Penner-USA Today Sports via Reuters

Darryl Strawberry surprised his 1986 Mets World Series-winning teammate on Sunday, just one month after suffering a heart attack.

Doc Gooden said he had no idea Strawberry would be in attendance at his No. 16 jersey retirement ceremony, with video posted by the Mets showing the pair hugging each other as Strawberry asks if Gooden was “surprised.”

“I wanted to surprise you, I wanted to come for you, it’s a big day, man,” Strawberry said, adding that he felt “good” after his health scare.

At a press conference, Gooden said that while the pair have “texted each other,” he “didn’t know he was going to be here today.”

Strawberry’s attendance at the ceremony was on tenterhooks after his March 11 heart attack, a day before his 62nd birthday. He spent five days in the hospital before he was released, making his way from Missouri to Queens on Sunday.

“We all talked to him at some point and he said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make it. I’ll have to see what happens,'” the pair’s former Mets teammate, Jesse Orosco told amNewYork. “Lo and behold, he’s here… it’s a surreal moment.”

Gooden and Strawberry became key players of the Mets’ resurgence during the 1980s; Gooden a star pitcher and Strawberry a legendary slugger whose partnership eventually helped them win the 1986 World Series title.

Though the pair were making history, substance abuse took its toll on both and they eventually fell from grace. Throughout the years they have fallen back on their feet and rekindled their friendship.

“It’s good to see Darryl,” Gooden said. “It will always be Darryl and Doc, Doc and Darryl. We’ll always be connected.”

“I’m just as happy for him and the things he’s accomplished,” Gooden said. “I love Darryl as a person. Obviously, we’ve had our ups and downs. Things happen. When you’re close, you’re gonna have those things, but we’ve been able to work it out.”

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