*Former Major League Baseball star Dwight Gooden was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and leaving the scene of an accident Friday in New Jersey.
The former pitcher for the New York Mets and Yankees had a child in his vehicle at the time of the two-vehicle crash around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Franklin Lakes police Capt. Joseph Seltenrich told the Associated Press. Police would not reveal who the child belonged to, but they said no one was hurt.
Gooden, 45, was also charged with child endangerment and motor vehicle violations, authorities said. He was released on his own recognizance until a municipal court hearing.
The driver of the other car, Ronald Schmidt, of Franklin Lakes, said he recognized Gooden right away. “I looked at him, and I knew it was Dwight Gooden,” Schmidt told WABC-TV in New York. “I think he was surprised I recognized him, (and) he shook my hand.”
Gooden, nicknamed Doc Gooden and Dr. K because of his phenomenal strikeout numbers early in his career, had served as a senior vice president with the minor league Newark Bears baseball team, which plays in the Atlantic League. But he left in November 2009 when the Mets invited him to join them at spring training, an offer he ultimately turned down.
Gooden’s pitching helped lead the Mets to a World Series title in 1986 and another National League East crown in ’88, and he also was a member of the championship Yankees teams of 1996 and 2000.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who played with Gooden and caught his no-hitter, said he hoped everything was OK with his former teammate. “Your heart goes out to him,” Girardi said in Tampa, Fla. “He was a great teammate. Doc and I will always be linked in a sense, played on championship teams and a no-hitter together.”
Drugs and legal troubles derailed his career and continued after his retirement in 2001. He was arrested several times and repeatedly entered rehabilitation facilities.
Besides the two New York teams, Gooden also pitched for Cleveland, Houston and Tampa Bay.