Dwight Gooden Puts on a Santa Suit, but the Scene Is Hardly Festive

It was not clear exactly how much Gooden, who won a Cy Young Award for the Mets in 1985, when he was 21, and became a World Series champion the next season, was paid to put on the red suit and pose for a few pictures with the dancers. A friend of Gooden’s, who did not want to be quoted publicly talking about him, said he believed the club paid the former pitcher $500.

Gooden was not the first celebrity Santa the club had employed; last year, Gooden’s former teammate Lenny Dykstra donned the beard and wig.

Like Gooden, Dykstra was a key part of the 1986 champion Mets. And like Gooden, his life took some profoundly bad detours in the years that followed. All of which served to form the uneasy background for Tuesday night’s event, which was attended by a smattering of…

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