Thursday, September 12, 2013

Gooden Sets A New Strikeout Record

On Sept. 12, 1984, New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden sets the rookie strike out record at 251. He would finish with 276 strikeouts in his rookie year, which led the National League. His 276 strikeouts as a rookie is still a major league record to this day.

Gooden, nicknamed "Dr. K", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He was one of the most dominant and feared pitchers in the National League in the middle and late 1980s. He would enjoy a successful career in the major leagues. He had a 16 season career that saw him play for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Over his career Gooden would earn four All-Star appearances, including three consecutive from 1984-1986. He would earn three World Series Championship rings with the New York Mets, and New York Yankees. He would earn two National League strikeout championships in 1984 and 1985, during his rookie and sophomore campaigns. He would win the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1984, in 1985 he would earn the pitching Triple Crown, given for the pitcher with the most strikeouts, wins, and lowest ERA, his totals that year were 268 strikeouts, 24 wins and a 1.53 ERA.

That performance was enough to give Gooden his only Cy Young Award for his career, as well earn the NL Wins Champion award and NL ERA Champion award. In 1992 Gooden was awarded the Silver Slugger award and in 1996 he pitched a no-hitter, the only one of his career.

Gooden never won a postseason game, going 0–4 in the course of nine postseason starts over eight series. In the 1986 National League Championship Series, however, he had an earned run average of only 1.06 after starting two games and allowing just one earned run in 17 innings pitched.

Gooden retired in 2001 after he was cut by the Yankees in spring training, ending his career with a record of 194–112. More than half of those wins came before age 25.

Gooden finished his career with 194 wins and 112 losses and three saves in 430 games with 410 starts. He totaled a 3.51 ERA with 2,293 strikeouts and 954 walks over 2,800.2 innings pitched. He would total 68 complete games in his career with 24 shutouts.

Gooden led the league in strikeouts twice, his first two years in the league, with his highest single season total coming in his rookie season with 276. He led the league in wins and ERA once, his 1985 Cy Young season with 24 wins and a 1.53 ERA.

Though he never won an MVP award, Gooden was in the conversation three times, with his highest voting coming in 1985 with the fourth most MVP votes.