box score for April 7, 1984:
Gooden pitched 5 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, walked 2 and struck out 5.
Its not the pitching performance that I remember, its how my dad watched that game that I recall. I remember they kept switching image on the screen from Gooden on the mound to his parents in the stands. Gooden's father in particular was interesting to my dad. I guess he could empathize with Gooden's dad sense of pride in seeing his 19-year old making his debut on TV. I wouldn't call my dad a major baseball fan though he does know a majority of the players, especially the Latino ballplayers. But there was something about that game that made him pay attention in between customers.
I recall he kept saying that Gooden looked like "Hot Sauce". Hot Sauce was the nickname of this kid who I played with during little league. After all these years I have no idea what his name was, but that kid had a helluva fastball. I should know, being the chubby kid on the team, I was put behind the plate. LOL. I used to catch him as he pitched and he used to blow up my catcher's mitt. Pop! Pop! Pop! The ball would sound off as it blew up my mitt and my hand inside of it. At one point I remember dropping the mitt because my hand felt like it was on fire.
So to my dad Gooden resembled Hot Sauce and my dad was rooting for him to do well both because of the resemblance and also so Gooden's dad could be happy for himself and his son.
Amazing what mentioning one person's name can do for one's blogging experience. LOL. Thanks to Dr. K, his dad, Hot Sauce and my dad for the brief walk back down memory lane.