Dwight Gooden, a former New York Mets pitcher, was sentenced to one year on probation in connection with a 2019 drug arrest in New Jersey.
Gooden appeared before the judge in a virtual proceeding Thursday. He had pleaded guilty in August 2019 to a cocaine possession charge stemming from a road arrest in June of that same year.
Police asked Gooden to stop his car in Holmdel, about 30 kilometers from New York, for failing to stay in the lane and driving too slow, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office.
Officers found two plastic bags, allegedly containing cocaine, inside Gooden’s vehicle.
The plea deal that Gooden reached last year allows him to avoid going to prison if he completes a drug addiction rehab program. During sentencing, State Superior Court Judge Vincent Falcetano said a recent evaluation revealed that Gooden has made considerable progress “and it is hard to believe that he is actually the same person,” according to the Asbury Park Press newspaper.
“I understand that my recovery must come first,” Gooden, 55, told the judge. “This has saved my life.”
The expitcher won the Cy Young Award for the National League with the Mets in 1985 and was part of the Mets team that won the 1986 World Series. He also played with the New York Yankees.
He was suspended from baseball for part of the 1994 season and the entire 1995 season after testing positive for cocaine.
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