Promising Athletic Careers Ruined by Drugs

Drug and alcohol addiction knows no borders. It can affect the lives of adults, children, men, women and even the untouchables of society. The strength of substance abuse is perhaps the most telling when it happens to an athlete or celebrity. These people have everything they ever dreamed of, yet their next fix outweighs their fame. Here are the stories of four once promising stars»

Dwight Gooden

  • 194 Wins- 3.51 ERA- 2,293 K
  • 1984-2000
  • In 1984, ‘Doc’ Gooden became the youngest pitcher to ever start an All Star Game at just 19 years of age. In that same year, he won the NL Rookie of the Year and had more wins and strikeouts then the Cy Young winner. The next season, he even wowed himself. Gooden won 24 games, posted a 1.53 ERA and struck out 268 batters– he was unhittable. After winning the World Series in 1986, Gooden tested positive for cocaine and then again in 1994. His story is perhaps the most tragic, for his talent was otherworldly.

Mitchell Wiggins

  • 10 PPG
  • 1983-1987. 1989-1992
  • After his team fell to the Boston Celtics in the 1986 Finals, Wiggins tested positive for cocaine. He did make a brief comeback to basketball in 1989, but his stats are not why he is on this list. His son, Andrew, is one of the rising stars in the NBA and Mitchell strives to never let his son make the same mistakes he did.

Darryl Strawberry

  • .259 BA- 355 HR- 1,000 RBI
  • 1983-1999
  • When Strawberry entered the league in 1983, there were scouts that said he had the purest swing they had ever seen. He helped the Mets earn their second World Series ring in 1986 alongside fellow addict ‘Doc’ Gooden. That 1986 Mets team had their fair share of problems.

Spencer Haywood

  • 20.3 PPG
  • 1969-1983
  • Haywood grew up in Detroit and once he hit high school, scouts and coaches took notice. Haywood was selected to the All Star game four times and he led the Seattle SuperSonics to their first ever playoff berth. In the late 1970’s, he tested positive for cocaine and was never the same again.

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Promising Athletic Careers Ruined by Drugs
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