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Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry to have jerseys retired by Mets, team announces

Former New York Mets players Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry will have their jerseys retired by the Mets in separate ceremonies in 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry continue to have their legacies honored by the New York Mets.

On Wednesday, the Mets announced that both Strawberry and Gooden will have their jerseys retired during the 2024 season. Gooden's No. 16 will be lifted into the rafters April 14, while Strawberry's No. 18 will be hoisted June 1.

Their jerseys will join Casey Stengel's No. 37 (1965), Gil Hodges' No. 14 (1973), Tom Seaver's No. 41 (1988), Mike Piazza's No. 31 (2016), Jerry Koosman's No. 36 (2021), Keith Hernandez's No. 17 (2022), Willie Mays' No. 24 and Jackie Robinson's No. 42, which is retired by every Major League Baseball team.

The former teammates, who helped New York win the 1986 World Series and won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in consecutive seasons, discussed the upcoming honor via Zoom on Wednesday.

"My heart and soul bleed blue and orange," Strawberry, 61, said. "Always have. Always will."

Said Gooden: "Their fans will always be special to me. They cared about me and believed in me when I didn't believe in myself and gave me hope to go on. That's something that you don't forget."

Heavyweight contender Mike Tyson, right, jokes with New York Mets players Dwight Gooden, left, and Darryl Strawberry as they clown for the cameras before a game with the Montreal Expos on Sept. 10, 1986, at Shea Stadium. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)
Heavyweight contender Mike Tyson, right, jokes with New York Mets players Dwight Gooden, left, and Darryl Strawberry as they clown for the cameras before a game with the Montreal Expos on Sept. 10, 1986, at Shea Stadium. (AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

In 17 seasons, Strawberry was an eight-time All-Star — including seven straight with the Mets from 1983 to '90. He batted .259 with 335 homers, 1,000 RBI and 221 stolen bases.

Gooden, 59, became a member of the exclusive Black Aces when he won 20 games as a starting pitcher in 1985. He is one of 15 Black pitchers to do so in league history. It helped him become the youngest-ever recipient of the Cy Young Award that year.

He was selected for four All-Star Games while playing for the Mets and won 1984 NL Rookie of the Year a season after Strawberry earned the honor. In 16 seasons, Gooden posted a 194-112 record with a 3.51 ERA and 2,293 strikeouts.

Both players won World Series as members of the New York Yankees, too. Gooden won his second title in 2000, and Strawberry won a pair of championships in 1996 and 1999.

While Wednesday was an exciting occasion for both Strawberry and Gooden, both men addressed what could've been had they not spent parts of their careers battling drug abuse.

"I was never well," Strawberry said. "Had I been well, what could I have done? When I was young, I thought this was going to go on forever — I'm going to be hitting home runs forever."