There’s a line in the song “The World Is Yours” off rapper Nas’ classic “Illmatic” album.
“My strength, my son, a star will be my resurrection
Born in correction, all the wrong sh-t I did, he’ll lead in right direction.”
Former Mets pitching legend Dwight Gooden can relate to those words when it comes to his life and his youngest son of six kids, Dylan.
During his MLB career Gooden, aka Dr. Doom, aka Doc, went 194-112 as a starting pitcher for the Mets, Yankees, Indians, Astros and Rays. Gooden is a Black Ace, one of just 15 melanated mound marauders to post a 20-win season.
Gooden burst into the league as a 19-year-old flame-throwing phenom in 1984, helping to propel the Mets above the Yankees as New York’s glamour squad. His story is one of tragedy and triumph, and Doc accomplished a lot in his baseball career, including being a four-time All-Star, two-time World Series Champion, Cy Young Award winner and won multiple championships. He’s also a pitching Triple Crown winner (wins, strikeouts and earned run average), NL Rookie of the Year, MLB wins leader, MLB ERA leader and two-time strikeout leader.
If not for off-the-field troubles that curtailed his meteroric rise, Gooden would have been a shoo-in for Cooperstown induction. Instead, he’s the poster child for any cautionary tale about athletes, money, pressure, drugs and the temptations of city life.
Dylan Gooden Following Dad’s Athletic Background
Dylan Gooden doesn’t throw heat, but he brings it on the football field as a 2023 four-star edge rusher from Olney, Maryland, where he plays for the Our Lady of Good Counsel Falcons. Gooden’s team participates in arguably one of the five best high school football leagues in the country (WCAC). With games annually against the DeMatha Stags, Gonzaga College High School Eagles and St. John’s Cadets, the talent level is formidable.
Gooden showed out in that conference this past season as he led the Falcons to the brink of a championship, coming up just short in the title game to the Cadets. For his efforts, he received his fourth star, making him one of the highest-rated players at his position in the country. He’s the No. 11-rated edge rusher in the nation, and he’s ranked No .2 at his position in the football-rich state of Maryland.
Gooden Will Ball At The Power 5 Level: Schools Covet His Length & Versatility On The Edge
The versatile and Uber athletic Gooden holds offers from 17 Power 5 institutions, including Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Old Dominion, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, and West Virginia.
Gooden recently tweeted out a list of eight schools who made his final cut.
Texas A&M, Penn State, WVA, Michigan State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Miami, Tennessee all made the list to secure the rising pass rusher/outside linebacker’s commitment.
The Maryland Terrapins Need This Commitment: Can’t Let Talent Like This Out Of The State
With Gooden being a prized recruit located in the state of Maryland, it’s imperative Michael Locksley and the rising Terrapins do everything in their power to keep him in-state. He provides a position of need for a Terps program that has no problem scoring points with quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and wide receivers Rakim Jarrett and Dontay Demus all scheduled to return to College Park for the next few seasons.
Maryland’s glaring weakness has been on the defensive side of the football. The recruitment of Gooden is a moment of truth for Maryland’s ability to compete in the Big Ten.
They just can’t allow conference foes, Penn State and Michigan State to take Gooden. West Virginia is also reportedly very high on Gooden’s list.
Gooden’s strengths are UMD’s weaknesses. Currently at 205 pounds, he could play at 230-240 with ease. He’s a high-level athlete who has fast-twitch muscles. His length and speed off the edge is what intrigues the Power 5 schools. A high motor enables him to track down plays on back side.
The weight room will become his best friend over the next year as he adds bulk to his slender, wiry frame. Speed is his best asset as of now, so the continued development would make him less of a one-trick pony. He’ll have a huge effect on whatever Power 5 program he chooses and has the chance to be an NFL prospect.
Former All-Star and Gold Glove winner Harold Reynolds, is a staple around the game of baseball and he’s looking to help bring a culturally significant game to a historic stadium.
Reynolds had his success on the field during his 12-year career and he did not miss a beat after retiring and going into the television world.
According to an article from frontofficesports.com, the MLB Network analyst and the mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, Andre Sayegh, are pushing for a “Field of Dreams”-style game played at the iconic Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson.
This game, if it were to happen, would feature two MLB teams.
The first “Field of Dreams” game occurred during the 2021 season in Iowa between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox. MLBbros stole the show with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Tim Anderson bombing away into the cornfields.
And that was a game to remember as our MLBbro Tim Anderson hit a walk-off homer to give the White Sox 9-8 win. The game will happen again during the 2022 season and will feature the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.
Reynolds made it clear that he wanted to have a “Field of Dreams” game played in Paterson during the inaugural game held in Iowa and now things are starting to move in the right direction.
For those who are not familiar with Hinchliffe Stadium, this place has a lot of significance. The 10,000-seat stadium was finished in 1932 and was a host site to the historic Negro league.
In March of 2013, the stadium was named a National Historic Landmark. The stadium is undergoing a $94 million renovation project.
MLB analyst and former All-Star Harold Reynolds is pushing for a “Field of Dreams”-style game at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey.
Hinchliffe is one of the last-standing Negro League ballparks.
“This is something that has to happen for our country. Hinchliffe helped integrate baseball,” Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh said per Front Office Sports.
Sayegh could not have said it any better. This would be a significant accomplishment for an MLB game to take place at a stadium that is rich in baseball history. Acknowledging the contributions to baseball and atrocities endured by Negro League players has been something MLB’s shown a commitment to in recent years.
There’s no question that Reynolds will do everything he can to make this happen. It could be the first of many games played at historic Negro League sites each season, attracting young, Black baseball players from all over the country,
Sheffield has seen his numbers go up with support, too.
In his first five tries on the ballot, he got between 11 and 14 percent.
In 2020, Sheff got 30.5 percent. And last year, it blew up to 40.6 percent.
Sheffield has three more years of eligibility left to get to the 75 percent needed to make it to the Hall.
The writers’ history of rallying to vote players in on their last try is well documented.
Enter Larry Walker in the 2020 Class. In his 10th and final try, Walker got 76.6 percent of the vote, a 22- percent jump from 2019. It was the biggest increase by any player in his last year of eligibility in 65 years.
Hence, I can see this happening for Bonds.
You can’t tell the story of baseball without him. Plus, all his numbers and awards count. They haven’t been stripped of anything.
And the truth remains, Bonds never tested positive for PEDs nor was he suspended by the game for being caught. His named was linked in the 2004 BALCO scandal.
Sheffield was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and implicated in the BALCO scandal with respect to the use of performance- enhancing drugs.
(Graphic via David Grubb)
That’s why newcomers to the ballot – Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz – will be hurt. Easily they have the numbers, but A-Rod was suspended by the game for PED use and Big Papi reportedly tested positive for the stuff.
Hard to blame writers in the case where players were clearly busted.
And if all the players in the Steroid Era were tested and just Bonds and Sheffield came back dirty, there would be a real reason to exclude the slugger from the Hall.
But the water is muddy. With that being the case, the numbers should be taken at face value.
Plus, and more importantly, there are other players either linked to PEDs or rumored to have used the stuff who were voted in by the same writers keeping Bonds and Sheff out.
Enter Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez and Jeff Bagwell.
I’ve voted for Bonds all 10 years he’s been on the ballot. Same goes for Sheff in his first eight tries.
Both belong in the Hall.
Here is my ballot for this coming Hall of Fame Class:
1. Bonds – All-time HR king. Period.
2. Clemens – Seven Cy Young Awards, most ever.
3. Sammy Sosa – Over 600 homers. Hall-worthy.
4. Gary Sheffield – Over 500 homers. Hall-worthy.