In 1996 These Bros Helped End The Yankees’ World Series Drought

In 1996 These Bros Helped End The Yankees’ World Series Drought

When the New York Yankees opened Spring Training in February of 1996, the bitter taste of their 1995 ALDS loss to the Seattle Mariners was still burning in the mouth of the proud franchise and their followers.

Up 2-0 in the series, New York would lose three straight road games and be sent home for the winter. During the offseason, they parted ways with manager Buck Showalter, shifted Gene Michael into a role as the team’s VP and director of scouting, and hired Bob Watson as GM. 

On the heels of owner George Steinbrenner’s suspension from baseball, Watson and Michael had been slowly rebuilding the team with a mixture of homegrown talent, trades and modest free agent signings.

New York won 88 games in 1993, had the AL’s best record when the 1994 players’ strike hit in August and used a 26-8 finish to claim the AL’s first-ever wild-card berth in 1995. 

One of Watson’s first moves was to hire Joe Torre as Showalter’s replacement. Dubbed “Clueless Joe” by the media at the time of his hire, the move would later be looked at as one of the many right buttons Watson pushed while becoming the club’s first black GM.

The early remnants of the “Core Four” were already on the roster and making contributions. Outfielder Bernie Williams, along with pitchers Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera had become stalwarts. 

But there was one other piece added to the roster as well.

The team’s No. 1 draft pick from 1992, shortstop Derek Jeter was brought up at the end of the 1995 season. A year later, the sixth overall pick became the team’s starting shortstop when incumbent Tony Fernandez fractured his right elbow during spring training. 

Other key acquisitions during the off season were first baseman Tino Martinez from Seattle to replace the retired Don Mattingly, outfielder Tim Raines from the Chicago White Sox, and former Cy Young Award winner Dwight Gooden.

The former Met was suspended for the 1995 season after a positive drug test while serving a prior suspension. After pitching poorly in April and nearly getting released, he was sent down to the minors where he worked on his mechanics and soon returned with a shortened wind-up.

Gooden’s early woes were reflective of New York’s struggles as well. While New York won on Opening Day in Cleveland behind Jeter’s first MLB homer, the Yankees started slowly, winning just 11 of their first 21 games.

However, they won nine of 10 as April turned to May and moved into first place for good. 

One of the biggest wins came on May 14th when Gooden no-hit the Seattle Mariners 2-0 at Yankee Stadium. It was the first by a Yankee right-hander since Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series and the first by a Yankee right-hander during the regular season since Allie Reynolds’ second no-hitter in 1951. 

As soon as the calendar flipped over to June, though, things really started clicking for New York.  Ripping off three wins in a row to start the month – and four in a row dating back to May – the Yankees would ride their hot offense to an 18-11 record. 

The Yankees then carried that success into July, as they started the month by winning nine out of ten games leading up to the All-Star break. However, Watson did not stand pat with the roster during the month.

Another former Met, outfielder/DH Darryl Strawberry was signed as a free agent on July 4th while toiling for the minor league independent St. Paul Saints. Slugging first baseman Cecil Fielder was acquired on July 31st from Detroit for outfielder Ruben Sierra and a minor leaguer.

They also reacquired third baseman Charlie Hayes from the Pirates on August 30th for a player to be named later. Even though the club struggled during the month (13-17), New York rebounded in a huge way in September going 16-11 with a +55 run differential for the month. 

The Bronx Bombers were keyed by Fielder combined with a resurgent Strawberry to provide serious second-half pop at DH. Eventually, they would win the AL East by four games over the second-place Baltimore Orioles.

New York rolled over the Texas Rangers in a four-game Division Series, then beat the Orioles in a five-game ALCS, aided by 12-year-old fan Jefftey Maier snagging Jeter’s game-tying home run in the eighth inning of the opener.

The ALCS triumph was even more meaningful for manager Torre as it was his first Fall Classic after 4,110 games between his playing and managerial careers. He would also go against his former team, the Braves in the World Series.

The defending World Champions’ bats came out guns blazing to start the series, dropping a combined 16 runs on the Yankees in Games 1 and 2. The Hall of Fame duo of John Smoltz and Greg Maddux were just as good as their team’s bats, throwing 14 innings of one-run ball.

Despite being down 0-2 and going on the road to Atlanta, the Yankees stunned the baseball world to take four straight games. In keeping with their trend of playing close games throughout the playoffs, the margins of victory for the Yankees during the World Series were three runs, two runs, one run, and one run respectively. 

In the clinching victory back in the Bronx, it was one of the acquired MLBbros that put an end to the Series. Atlanta fought to the end, stroking three singles off John Wetteland to cut New York’s lead to 3-2.

Mark Lemke stepped in, aiming to drive home Rafael Belliard from second base with the potential tying run. Lemke ran the count full, and the sixth pitch of the at-bat drifted foul, sending Charlie Hayes tumbling into the visiting dugout. 

Hayes dislocated a finger but told no one, jogging back to his position. Lemke lofted the seventh pitch in a similar area, but this time it remained in play, soon to become October lore.

The series win – their 23rd World Series title and their first since 1978 – proved to be a prelude to a budding dynasty as the Yankees would start one of the most magical stretches in the franchise’s storied history.

And it was a group of prominent MLBbros that were right in the middle of it for the Pinstripes.

 

Darryl Strawberry Making Miraculous Recovery From Heart Attack | Mets Legend Wouldn’t Miss Jersey Retirement For The World

Darryl Strawberry Making Miraculous Recovery From Heart Attack | Mets Legend Wouldn’t Miss Jersey Retirement For The World

Former major leaguer Darryl Strawberry posted on Instagram that “all is well” as he recovers from a heart attack suffered on Monday and will be totally recovered well before his scheduled jersey retirement on June 1.

 

The Dates Are Set For Mets To Retire Jerseys Of Legendary MLBbros Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry

 

Strawberry, who turned 62 on Tuesday, thanked the medical team at St. Joseph West in Lake St. Louis for helping him through a stent procedure.

 

Strawberry is a New York sports icon and a walking story of resilience, after recovering from drug and alcohol problems that plagued his MLB career during the 80s and 90s, to become a preacher, spreading the word of God and sharing stories of his salvation.

Strawberry played 17 years in the major leagues with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees.

 

The 6-foot-6 multi-talented baller hit 335 homers and drove in 1000 runs and along with teammate Dwight Gooden, led an unprecedented era of winning from 1983, when Strawberry arrived and won NL Rookie of the Year to 1990, when he left to join the LA Dodgers.

 

Strawberry finished his career as a nine-time All-Star, Strawberry won three World Series, one with the Mets and two with the New York Yankees at the end of his career.

 

“On behalf of the entire organization we are sending positive thoughts to Darryl Strawberry, his wife Tracy and his entire family after last night’s heart attack,” Mets owners Steve and Alex Cohen said in a statement. “Darryl was in Port St. Lucie working with the team as a guest instructor just a few weeks ago. We are looking forward to Straw’s speedy recovery and welcoming him for his number retirement ceremony on June 1.”

 

 

Straw Beat Cancer In 1998 

 

This isn’t the first health battle that Strawberry will overcome. He missed the 1998 Yankees’ championship run while being treated for colon cancer. 26 years later, the legend’s No. 18 jersey is scheduled to be retired by the Mets on June 1, in recognition of his role as the top offensive force on the 1986 World Series team that captivated New York and secured their place in MLB lore.

 

Few players in MLB history have captivated the fans like Darryl Strawberry. When he stepped to the plate, everyone stopped, looked and listened. He could give you 30 steals and 30 bombs; he had a rifle in the outfield and was one of the smoothest ballers you’ll ever see.

 

Darryl Strawberry Is Best Outfielder In New York Mets History 

 

The former No. 1 overall pick in the 1980 MLB Draft out of Los Angeles, is remembered for his sweet lefty swing where in eight seasons with the Mets, Strawberry would help the team capture two division titles, one pennant, and one world Series title. He is also the franchise leader in career home runs (252), second in RBIs (733) and WAR (36.6), third in OPS (.878), fourth in total bases (2,028) and fifth in stolen bases (191).

 

 

Strawberry’s power and grace were his calling cards. On April 4, 1988, Strawberry hit a majestic home run at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. The ball traveled an estimated 525 feet and struck the stadium’s service ring, which was an incredible height of 160 feet above the playing field. Strawberry’s blast is remembered as one of the most memorable and incredible home runs in baseball history. Nobody had hit the ball in that stadium that high and far until Strawberry took Dennis Martinez’ pitched to the moon.

 

Wishing this Black baseball king and MLBbro a fast recovery.

The Dates Are Set For Mets To Retire Jerseys Of Legendary MLBbros Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry

The Dates Are Set For Mets To Retire Jerseys Of Legendary MLBbros Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry

They will always belong to Queens, NY.
They played together, won a championship (1986) together, conquered off-field demons together, and now their jerseys will be retired where they will hang together, forever.
The dates are set for MLBbros Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden to have their Jerseys retired by the New York Mets in the 2024 MLB season.

 

Dwight “Doc” Gooden’s date with Mets immortality is set for April 14th when the Mets face off against the Kansas City Royals. In his 11 season with the Mets, Dr, K served up a prescription that made him second in franchise history in wins (157), strikeouts (1,875), and WAR (41.6).

 

Let’s not forget the way he hit MLB like a nuclear bomb, winning Rookie of the Year (1984) and the Cy Young Award (1985) in his first two seasons. A new era of Mets baseball was ushered in by a 19-year-old phenom from Florida.

 

 

“Even when I was with the Yankees, I always considered myself a Met…” Gooden would say about the honor. “I can’t thank [owners] Steve and Alex [Cohen] and the board enough to give me this great honor I can share with my teammates, the fans and my family. I’m looking forward to this day. It’s the greatest honor I can achieve in baseball”. 

 

Darryl Strawberry’s No. 18 will be retired in a ceremony scheduled for June 1st before the Mets take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The former #1 pick in the 1980 draft is remembered for his sweet lefty swing where in eight seasons with the Mets, Strawberry would help the team capture two division titles, one pennant, and one world Series title. He is also the franchise leader in career home runs (252), second in RBIs (733) and WAR (36.6), third in OPS (.878), fourth in total bases (2,028) and fifth in stolen bases (191).

 

 

 

“I’m so glad we had this opportunity to play in New York City in the National League at Shea Stadium. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything…” Strawberry said. “To be able to have this honor, your number is going to be retired and that’s forever, its bigger than going into the Hall of Fame.”

 

The history with drugs and alcohol is well documented with both players, but they also rebounded and made sure their personal struggles were not the entire story of their lives. Both men have gotten back on the right path, and nobody can take away the tremendous impact both of these MLBbros had on the franchise, baseball in the ’80s and the generations of MLBbros who followed in their footsteps.
Strawberry is now a traveling minister and Gooden visits schools to talk to children about drugs and alcohol use. While this may be their greatest accomplishment, having your Jersey retired is pretty cool too.
We Asked For It | Mets Are FINALLY Retiring Numbers Of MLBbro Franchise Icons Doc Gooden & Darryl Strawberry

We Asked For It | Mets Are FINALLY Retiring Numbers Of MLBbro Franchise Icons Doc Gooden & Darryl Strawberry

The New York Mets finally announced on Thursday (August. 24) that they plan to retire the numbers of two of their most popular players in franchise history. Legendary MLBbros Dwight “Doc” Gooden & Darryl Strawberry, next season.

 

 #16 and #18 will be forever cemented in Citi Field and no one will don those numbers on their backs again in Queens. 

 

As we reported two months ago, the honor was long overdue.

 

Darryl And Doc’s Time Is Now To Have Number Retired | What Are The Mets Waiting For?

 

The Wilpon family during their 34-year ownership run only retired two numbers, Tom Seaver (1988) and Mike Piazza (2016). They ended Old-Times Day in 1994. They developed a reputation for turning their backs on many of the great players in their history. It was rumored that they held a grudge against Doc & Darryl. 

 

Mets owner, Steve Cohen, upon taking over ownership in 2020, placed great emphasis on not only reconnecting with Mets history, but embracing it.  He brought back Old Times Day in 2022, the first since 1994. He retired Jerry Koosman’s #36, Willie Mays’ #24, then Keith Hernandez’ #17 last year. Now Doc & Darryl are finally on deck. “Uncle Steve” as Mets fans affectionately call him, finally came through!

 

Via MLB.com: “Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden each had an enormous impact on our franchise,” Cohen said, “and it’s my honor to continue our commitment to celebrating our wonderful history.”

 

“There was no more electric place to be than at Shea Stadium on a Friday night in the ‘80s when Dwight Gooden was on the mound,” Mets owner Steve Cohen said in a statement, recalling also “Darryl Strawberry’s sweet left-handed swing” and his “monster moon shots” that “bounced off Shea’s scoreboard.”

 

Due to their on-the-field success and personal struggles, Both Doc & Darryls stories have been intertwined for so long, its only right that they received the nod on the same day. This dynamic duo inspired future MLBbro’s around the world,  brought excitement and a lot of W’s to starving fans, who hadn’t seen playoff birth since losing the World Series in 1973. They lived up to the hype as key contributors of the ’86 series, their first championship win since 1969 and second overall in franchise history.

Dwight Gooden was 157-85 with a 3.10 ERA, 1,7875 strikeouts in 305 appearances for The Metropolitans. His .649 win percentage is best in Mets franchise history, He’s second to the legendary Tom Seaver in wins, strikeouts and WAR.

 

 

Meanwhile, Darryl Strawberry, blessed baseball fans with a tremendous combination of bat speed, foot speed, and natural home run hitting power as well as being a dynamic offensive threat. He bro bombed an MLB leading 39 home runs in 1988. His speed on the base paths made him elite, notably during the ’87 season, when he became the 9th player in MLB history to join the 30-30 club.

Strawberry batted .263 with 1,025 hits, 252 home runs, 733 RBIs, 662 runs and 191 stolen bases in his career as a Met. He was one of the most feared sluggers in the 80’s and is currently STILL sitting atop the Mets all-time home run list. Straw still also ranks second in Mets history for RBIs and WAR amongst position players.

 

 

“I was completely overwhelmed when I got the call,” Gooden said. “There is no greater honor a player can receive than having his number retired. … This would make my mother and father extremely proud.”

 

“When I got the call from Steve, I welled up with tears of joy,” Strawberry said in a statement. “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.”

 

During their seven seasons played together between 1984-1990, the Mets went 666-466. This seven-year stretch is the best Mets fans have ever witnessed, as it’s still the most consecutive winning seasons in franchise history. A truly magical time in New York sports history that can’t be properly acknowledged without two of the players who made it possible.