Dwight Gooden still knows how to work a crowd.

Honored by the New York Mets with the retirement of his No. 16 on Sunday, the four-time All-Star recounted how his career in Queens was cut short by drugs and alcohol, forcing him to sign across town ahead of the 1996 season.

"I wanted to stay to make things right with you guys. I didn't want to leave on the note that I did," Gooden told the fans, "Unfortunately, they thought it was best that we go separate ways. I was lucky enough to stay in New York, play with the New York Yankees for two years, '96 and '97."