The Mets announced on Thursday something that fans have been waiting a long time for, an event that will be much-anticipated next summer.
Darryl Strawberry's 18 and Dwight Gooden's 16 will be retired in separate pre-game ceremonies in 2024.
These will be the sixth and seventh numbers retired by the Mets, who retired their teammate from the 1986 championship team, Keith Hernandez's number 17, and Willie Mays' 24 last season.
The Mets' other retired numbers are Tom Seaver's 41, Mike Piazza's 31, Jerry Koosman's 36, 1969 World Champion Manager Gil Hodges' 14, and original Manager Casey Stengel's 37, and Jackie Robinson's 42, which is retired across Major League Baseball.
Mets Owner, Chairman, and CEO Steve Cohen said in a statement, "I'm thrilled that two iconic numbers of the 1986 championship club will have their numbers retired in 2024. Darry Strawberry and Dwight Gooden each had an enormous impact on our franchise and it's my honor to continue our commitment to celebrating our wonderful history."
Strawberry was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 2010, and he was a seven-time All-Star in his time with the Amazin's. He is the Mets all-time leader in home runs with 252, second all-time in RBIs with 733 and walks (580), third in extra-base hits (469) and runs (662) and fourth in slugging percentage (.520). He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1983 when he slugged a then-club rookie record 26 home runs. He was a two-time Silver Slugger winner, including when he hit 39 homers in 1988. He had many big moments in the postseason, including his solo home run in Game Seven of the 1986 World Series, and in the sixth inning of Game Three of the 1986 NLCS against Houston in a 6-5 victory.
"When I got the call from Steve, I welled up with tears of joy. I started to reflect on my journey through the organization. I had some ups and downs, but in the end, I am proud of my time in New York. I owe so much to Mets fans - they are simply the best. It's really amazing to me that No. 18 will be forever remembered. I would like to thank the Hall of Fame committee and especially Steve and Alex Cohen."
Cohen said in a statement, "Darryl Strawberry's sweet left-handed swing made him one of the most feared hitters in the National League as his monster moon shots bounced off Shea's scoreboard. Strawberry's arrival to the Big Apple in 1983 re-energized the franchise and it's very appropriate that the club's all-time homer leader will have his No. 18 retired."
Gooden was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 2010, same year as Strawberry, and he ranks second in franchise wins with 157 and strikeouts with 1,875, and third in innings (2,169.2). complete games (67), starts (303), and quality starts (209). Gooden pitched for the Mets for 11 seasons, and he was the 1984 National League Rookie of the Year as he set a Major League-record with 276 strikeouts and was the youngest-ever to make an All-Star Game at just 19 years old. The next season, 1985, he was the youngest pitcher ever to win the N.L. Cy Young Award when he captured the "Triple Crown" of pitching, as he led the majors in wins (24), strikeouts (268), and ERA (earned run average) at 1.53.
"I was completely overwhelmed when I got the call," Doc said in a statement. "I want to say 'thank you' to the fans who supported me through the good times and bad times. I couldn't have made it through without their encouragement. There is no greater honor a player can receive than having his number retired. It's hard for me to express how honored and thankful I am to Steve and Alex (Cohen). This would make my mother and father extremely proud and I know they are looking down from heaven smiling."
Cohen said in the release, "There was no more electric place to be than at Shea Stadium on a Friday night in the 80's when Dwight Gooden was on the mound. Doc continues the pitching-rich lineage of retired numbers joining Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. It's fitting that his No. 16 will forever hang in left field where his legendary K-Korner was located."
The dates for these long-awaited ceremonies will be announced in the coming months, with this announcement another reminder of what Cohen's deep appreciation for this franchise's rich history and how it should be honored.