Dwight Gooden, pitcher for the New York Mets, lost a dozen lucrative endorsement contracts after he was arrested in December 1986 following a scuffle with Tampa police officers, court records show.
Published reports about the incident damaged his reputation with fans and hurt him financially, contends Gooden, who sued Tampa General Hospital for releasing results of a confidential blood-alcohol test taken after police arrested him Dec. 13, 1986.Gooden was not charged with drunken driving in connection with the skirmish, although a blood-alcohol test at the time showed he was legally drunk, records show. He pleaded no contest to charges of resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer and was sentenced to three years probation.
Gooden revealed his financial losses in response to written inquiries from Tampa General, according to an article published today in The Tampa Tribune.
But his attorney, Scott E. Samis, said he could not determine exactly how much money Gooden lost because the endorsement contracts called for the pitcher to receive percentages of total sales.
"You don't know how many kids buy a glove because it has Dwight Gooden's signature on it instead of, say, (ouston Astros pitcher) Mike Scott's," Samis said.
Publicity about his arrest affected his ability to collect on endorsement deals with sporting goods companies, poster and baseball card manufacturers and a firm that sponsored the "Official Dr. K Fan Club," contends Gooden.