Video Archive 7
Doc Gooden's First MLB Inning, 4/7/1984
A shy and relatively quiet 19-year-old Doc Gooden embarked on one of baseball's most dominant two-year stretches on this day. Facing the also-ran Astros, a poised Gooden—16 months after being drafted out of high school—completed a 1-2-3 debut inning with relative ease.
Notes: Obviously just a slip of the tongue—Gooden did not throw six shutouts at Lynchburg the night before this game. The Gardenhire at 2B is indeed longtime Twins manager Ron.
Dickie Thon, the third Astro batter, was severely beaned the very next day by Mets P Mike Torrez. He missed the rest of the season, spent chunks of 1985-87 on the disabled/disqualified list, and was never the same player.
Doc Gooden's All-Star Debut, 7/10/1984
For any remaining sports fans still unexposed to the emerging greatness that was young Doc Gooden, his 1984 All-Star Game opening act—striking out the side as a rookie with three months of MLB experience in front of a national TV audience—took care of that.
In tie top of the 5th, Detroit's Lance Parrish and Chet Lemon, and Seattle's "Al" Davis absorbed successive K's by Gooden's hand. (Doc pitched a scoreless 6th as well, allowing a lucky Eddie Murray bloop double.)
Gooden's feat wasn't quite at the level of Carl Hubbell whiffing five straight Hall-of-Famers-in-waiting in the '34 Classic. That rendered it no less impressive.
Notes: Candlestick Park in San Francisco played host for the second (1961) and final time. Gooden carried an 8-5, 2.84 record into the game; he also had 133 K in 111 IP. He made three more All-Star teams (1985-86, 1988) in his career.
Doc Gooden Has Home Run Pop!
Doc Gooden could beat you with his bat as well as his arm (at least during his NL days.) He smoked seven longballs in his Mets career while falling one hit short of a .200 career average, and added one more four-bagger in the AL.
Here, he records his 3rd and 4th home runs, against San Diego's Ed Whitson and Atlanta's Randy St. Claire, respectively. The former was a game-tying solo shot in the 7th (although New York went on to lose 8-4). The latter helped the Mets to an 9-7 win; Gooden allowed five ER, but still went eight innings for the W.
Notes: St. Claire allowed three jacks in 1.1 innings and was outrighted to AAA Richmond for two months in response.
Doc Gooden No-Hits Mariners, 5/14/1996
Substance abuse derailed and nearly wrecked what could have been a Hall-of-Fame Doc Gooden career. As has been publicized, it nearly led him to suicide. After serving what ended up a 15-month suspension, Gooden returned to New York—as a Yankee—in 1996. On May 14, he took on Seattle.
He was now 32. His stuff was no longer electric. He was facing a Mariners lineup with four of the best players in the game penciled in—for the first time ever. He carried a 1-3, 5.67 record into the game.
All in all, the no-hitter Gooden threw that day has to stand among the five most improbable ever.
Notes: Doc finished with six walks and five strikeouts, throwing 134 pitches in a 2-0 Yankees win. Tino Martinez and Jim Leyritz contributed back-to-back RBI singles in the 6th. Beginning with this win, Gooden finished 1996 10-4, 4.85 in 23 starts. This would be the final complete game of his career.
Doc Gooden Allows Three Homers To Karl Rhodes, 4/4/1994
Previously unknown Cub Tuffy Rhodes dominated early 1994 baseball headlines when he slammed three home runs at Wrigley Field on Opening Day. Gooden served up all three blasts, something unthinkable once upon a time.
The former Astros washout cracked solo homers in the 1st, 3rd and 5th innings; Gooden was yanked ahead of Rhodes' 4th at-bat. Somehow, despite allowing seven runs in 5.2 innings, Gooden came away with the victory.
Notes: New York defeated the Cubs 12-8. Rhodes hit only ten other homers in his MLB career, which ended after the 1995 season. Gooden made six more starts as a Met— three quality—before being suspended for the next 18+ months.
Doc Gooden Drilled By Umpire's Throw
Through extensive research, I think I've pinpointed when this play—extracted from a "This Week In Baseball" blooper compilation, hence the opening Padre cameo—took place. If I'm right, legendary umpire Doug Harvey accidentally plunked Gooden on 4/26/89 at Shea Stadium, with Bruce Benedict at bat. (If you can confirm or disprove this, email us.)
Notes: Assuming I am correct, New York beat Pete Smith and the Braves 6-1. Gooden went 8.2 IP for the win, despite walking six.
"Jackie" Chan Ho Park? 6/5/1999
Shortly after a Matt Walbeck grand slam left Dodgers SP Chan Ho Park trailing 4-0 to the visiting Anaheim Angels in the 5th, Park laid down a successful sac bunt; Angels starter Tim Belcher (who called Dodger Stadium home 1988-91) fielded the bunt and tagged Park out.
Apparently too hard.
Later quoted as saying Belcher tried to "hurt me", Park took offense. Belcher took offense to Park's offense, and things quickly got physical. As he retreated from a seething Belcher, Park went into a Street Fighter-esque drop kick.
Even though the kick didn't land squarely, Park was roundly ridiculed for resorting to such tactics in a common baseball skirmish. He (and he only) was ejected and later suspended seven games.
Notes: LA came back to win 7-4, as Devon White walloped a slam of his own off Belcher in the 6th. The runner Park sacrificed was C Angel Pena, who reached on an Andy Sheets error at SS; Pena did not score. Onan Masaoka took over for the ejected Park and was credited with his first (of three) major league win.
Out of whack after the suspension, Park gave up six or more runs in four of his next five starts.
Carmelo Naps In The Lane, 4/8/2010
How did I not know about this?! How come nobody replays this?
During the final days of the 2009-10 season, the Denver Nuggets visited Oklahoma City. Late in the 3rd quarter, superstar Nugget Carmelo Anthony began to back down fellow superstar Kevin Durant on the left block. Durant pulled the chair, and Anthony tumbled to the ground—striking Durant's hip along the way.
Left dazed, Melo eventually drifted into unconsciousness as his bench tried unsuccessfully to call time-out. J.R. Smith—playing beautifully into his me-first reputation—doesn't even see Anthony and almost tramples his fallen teammate on the way to the basket moments later. I began to wonder if this clip was authentic.
Even after that, almost everyone is totally indifferent to Anthony, as if he blended in with the floor! This can't be real, right? But it was.
After finally being treated, Anthony returned in the fourth quarter "out of it", according to teammate Chauncey Billups. But Denver, which entered the fourth down by seven, outscored OKC in the quarter by 11 and won.
As a youth, I owned an NES game called "World Cup Soccer"; in this game, if you tackled—yes, tackled—an opponent hard enough, he'd lie on the ground unconscious until somebody scored a goal. Play would just continue around him, as if he weren't there.
I never thought such indifference could happen in real life...until today. And now I can't stop laughing (since Anthony was ultimately fine).
Notes: Denver won 98-94; Anthony finished 7-for-21 from the floor but 10-for-11 from the line (24 points). Despite his injury—which he admitted left him under 50%— he wound up with 39 minutes played and hit two game-clinching foul shots!
Wade Boggs Toes The Rubber, 8/19/1997
Wade Boggs wasn't always a happy camper with the 1996-97 Yankees—most Hall-of-Famers-in-waiting wouldn't be thrilled about having to share their position (in this case, with veteran Charlie Hayes) after over a decade of playing every day.
Regular or not, Boggs still had value to the Yankees. And on one particular August 1997 night, he didn't need his bat or mitt to help the club.
Facing the powerful Angels in Anaheim, David Wells—for one of the rare times that year—was beat up (11 runs in three innings.) After Yankee RP Graeme Lloyd threw four innings, manager Joe Torre, wanting to spare his bullpen at the beginning of a long road trip, asked Boggs to chew up the 8th inning. New York trailed 12-4 by then.
The knuckleballing Boggs delivered. In his MLB pitching debut, he walked Luis Alicea leading off, but then sat down Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson via groundout followed by a K of Todd Greene!
Notes: Angels SP Chuck Finley was handed a 7-0 lead in the 1st, but he also struggled and ultimately was pulled ahead of Wells having allowed three walks and four runs! 12-4 was the final score, with rookie Angel Jason Dickson going the final 6.1 IP for the win.
Two of the three batters Boggs retired homered off Wells earlier. Boggs made one more pitching appearance in his career; as a Devil Ray in 1999, he mopped up an eventual 17-1 Orioles drubbing.
Tony Clark's Walk-Off Drop, 6/21/2009
From one first baseman named Clark to another, we visit Safeco Field where Clark's Diamondbacks faced Seattle in an interleague clash of mediocrity.
Bottom of the 9th, game tied 2-2, two outs, bases loaded. Franklin Gutierrez against the newly-entered Chad Qualls. If you made this throw to Tony Clark 1,000 times, he'd catch it 1,000 times. This play must have been 1,001. It was a muff, plain and simple—no sun glare, no fan distraction, no weird spin on the ball.
Notes: Doug Davis (7 IP, 1 ER) and Felix Hernandez (7.1 IP, 2 ER) started for Arizona and Seattle, respectively. The loss wrapped a three-game sweep for Seattle, who began the year 15-10 before a 17-24 slump entering the series.
Meanwhile, the 29-41 D'Backs promptly dropped eight of their next nine to end any hope of re-entering the pennant race. Clark—who finished 1-for-3 with a walk—is now the head of the MLBPA, where all he'll have to worry about dropping are lawsuits.
Marreese Speights Air-Balls A Dunk, 12/26/2008
I hate to do this to a current Warrior, but at the time he was a Sixer and I'm not sure I'd even heard of him—so Mo is fair game.
Not much to explain here. Speights' 76ers (12-16 entering) are up by 11 on host Denver early in the 4th quarter. Sixers PG Lou Williams dishes to F Andre Iguodala, who then finds the cutting rookie Speights. See video for the rest.
Notes: Nene is the man impeding Speights' progress. Philadelphia, leading by 12 with eight minutes left, wound up losing 105-101. Speights finished with 12 points, two rebounds and no turnovers in 18 minutes; he shot 5-for-12.