New York Met Dwight Gooden became the youngest pitcher to win 20 games in one season on August 25, 1985.
The Mets took a 9-3 home victory over the San Diego Padres in historic Shea Stadium. Gooden pitched the first six innings. He was replaced by Roger McDowell to finish the seventh and eighth innings. The losing pitcher was Eric Show.
The 20-year-old pitcher was in his second year of major league play. He stayed with the Mets until the end of the 1994 season. After taking the ’95 season off, he came back in ’96 to play with the Yankees.
Gooden’s career lasted 16 years and his honors included 1984 Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award in ’95. He represented the Mets in four All-Star games. He pitched two games in the 1986 World Series but unfortunately both of his starts resulted in a loss to the Boston Red Sox. The Mets won the series in seven games.
His career ended in September of 2000 with the Yankees. His life was also plagued by drug and alcohol use. This was not only an issue when times were bad, but when times were good as when the Mets won the World Series. His life has since turned around and he wrote a book about his struggles.
“I figured that pitchers had a better chance of getting drafted than fielders, so I decided I should be a pitcher. But I never expected to be picked in the first round. I wasn’t even sure I’d get picked at all.” -Dwight Gooden