As part of his catharsis, Gooden has written about his life as a drug addict in a book simply titled “Doc: A Memoir.” It covers his childhood and baseball career, but only at the margins. This time is clearly about how he became consumed by drugs and how they almost destroyed his life. Gooden is extremely candid about all his mistakes. There are many times you really despise him. But he is hard on himself as well and makes no excuses.
The obvious lesson Gooden imparts is that cocaine and alcohol can destroy your life. Gooden admits there are “functional addicts” who can handle a few drinks or a little cocaine and stop there. But it’s not him and it may not be any of us either. His experience is a sobering lesson on the destructive power of drugs and a good reason to read his book.
David Kent is the director of the Village Library of Cooperstown. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.