Dwight Gooden published a “Letter to His Younger Self” in The Players’ Tribune in December 2014. The former Mets ace shares the lessons — the hard lessons — he learned growing up playing Major League Baseball on the largest stage in the world. Gooden wrote candidly about his pain, his struggles and his desire to turn his life around after battling alcohol and drugs.
“I should tell you that the biggest challenges you’ll face in your lifetime will not relate to baseball. Baseball is something that will always come naturally to you. You’ll struggle with the things that don’t come as naturally.
You will want to try to fix your issues on your own. This is how you think a man handles his problems. It isn’t. Being a man is about reaching out for help when you need it. If your curveball isn’t working, you’ll know how to fix that. If the control on your pitches is off, you’ll know how to fix that. But you will face a lot of hardship because of your inability to realize that you can’t fix yourself.”