CITY HALL — More than thirty years ago, as the Mets celebrated their World Series win with a ticker-tape parade and a party at the steps of City Hall, they did it without one of their star pitchers.
Dwight "Doc" Gooden — who the year before won the league's Rookie of the Year award — was so high following a post-win bender that he missed the whole thing.
It was a painful part of the pitcher's history of drug abuse, which included missing all of the 1995 baseball season due to a drug suspension.
On Friday, though, Gooden got the chance to do it all over.
City Hall was draped with replicas of the same signs that hanged on the building in 1986. Inside, photos from the original celebration were put up in the rotunda. A DJ played (over and over) the team's anthem, "Let's Go Mets Go."
The event was hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio but facilitated for a pilot of a sports talk show hosted by journalist Amy Heart.
The premise of the show is to focus on athletes who are on the upswing after personal issues — and the mayor's office tried their best to recreate the celebration Gooden missed.
"I struggled for a really long time," the ace said on the steps of City Hall, choking back tears.
He was comforted on stage by teammates including Darryl Strawberry, Bob Ojeda, and Jesse Orosco.
Missing the parade and honor of receiving the key to the city left a void in his heart, which was only filled "by the love of the fans."
"Today is a day I never thought would happen,” Gooden said. “It’s been a long journey and I am grateful to be here."
De Blasio said the 1986 squad, known for partying as hard as they played, had a style "that personifies New York."
"It’s important that our city right that wrong and celebrate Doc and his teammates together, just as they always played the game."
The mayor, a noted Red Sox fan, vaguely addressed his beloved Red Sox, who the Mets beat in seven games in 1986.
"Now, I’m going to say up front, full disclosure, some of us grew up in other parts of the country — may have been associated with other teams," he said.
"But I’m wearing my Mets colors today to honor this great team."
Blasio told DNAinfo after the ceremony that he has always had "the deepest respect" for Gooden.