By Taryn “The Coop” Cooper
When Doc Gooden was a rookie in 1984, it also coincided with when I became a true dyed in the wool Mets fan. I started watching baseball with my dad when I was really young, but this was the first year he started to take me to games.
He lost nine games in his rookie year. I probably saw at least four of them live. But I didn’t care. Every Doc K start in 1984 was an event, a rock concert. Howie Rose, when inducting Doc into the Mets Hall of Fame in 2010, said when he pitched, Shea Stadium ROCKED.
It did. The 1980s were something to behold at Shea Stadium, a feeling that is difficult to replicate in this day and age. Perhaps fan bases are more educated, more jaded and maybe a little used. It’s tough to get feel good stories these days, and even with the story of Doc Gooden, a 19-year old wunderkind with the pitch, he ended up falling prey to the ’80s charms and temptations.
Fast forward to almost 30 years later (Ho-Lee Crap, it’s been that long). There is a buzz around CitiField all right. And…well…I’ll just allude to a friend’s Twitter exchange with me the other day.
@coopz22 Indeed, the future looks so bright he should probably wear shades.
— Glenn Giangrande (@GlennGiangrande) April 20, 2013
This was in response to talking about Matt Harvey. I’d also like to mention he happens to be a Yankees fan.
Harvey is “The Truth.”
— OrlandoManuel (@Bklynz_Poet) April 19, 2013
I’ve noticed a pattern of fanboying-or-girling from other fanbases on Harvey. Which is why I’ve considered what my friend Bklynz_Poet calls him. It’s even a shorthand of what Doc Gooden himself has said about him:
— Dwight Gooden (@DocGooden16) April 19, 2013
I’ve seen many things in the tenure of my Mets fandom that gives me pause for rating the future. I’ve survived Lastings Milledge. I’ve seen Scott Kazmir traded before his time. Gregg Jefferies never panned out, an well, the road that leads to Roosevelt Ave is littered with overrated Mets prospects that didn’t amount to much.
Back in 1984, Doctor K was able to get an ’80s rock concert feel to each of his home starts. Twenty some years later, a Pedro Martinez start would warrant a 10,000 WALK UP ticket sales on game day…in April!
What Matt Harvey is supplying us now is a buzz. An atmosphere. A sound. Each of his starts is bringing back a much needed mojo to Queens, one that has not existed arguably since the 1980s.
Yes, indeed, Matt Harvey is supplying The Truth around here.