Daryl Strawberry: Nothing to Fill the Empty SpotPublished on 07. 16. 2015
A Major League outfielder who played with the Mets, Yankees, Dodgers and Giants, Daryl Strawberry was an unforgettable figure during the 1980s and early 1990s. Admired by many for his athletic skills, Strawberry was idealized on baseball cards, action figures and posters at the same time he was derided for his contentious personality and disruptive, unsportsmanlike behavior. It seemed like Strawberry had it all, but his battles with cocaine and heroin nearly destroyed him.
Strawberry was drafted by the Mets immediately out of high school, and quickly began to rack up wins on the ball field. However, the star earned a 140-game suspension from Major League Baseball in 1999, after he was busted for soliciting sex from a cop posing as a prostitute. He was also charged for possession of cocaine. Strawberry was sentenced to community service and 21 months’ probation.
Unfortunately, driving to an appointment with his probation officer while under the influence of painkillers turned out to be a bad decision and a big parole violation. Strawberry blacked out, rear-ended another vehicle and was arrested at gunpoint as he attempted to flee the scene. His probation was upgraded to two years of house arrest.
Strawberry landed in jail so many times for leaving his court-mandated rehab to score drugs that he was finally sentenced to 18 months in prison.
He has been sober since that time.
Low Points: A Full-Fledged Junkie
Strawberry has said that his lowest point was when he began injecting heroin – graduating from cocaine user to a full-fledged junkie. He relates that he was greatly influenced by his father’s disapproval, recalling that no matter how many games he won, or how many drugs he used, he couldn’t forget his dad telling him that he would never amount to anything. In spite of all the women, money and cars, nothing could fill the empty spot Strawberry felt inside himself.
Strawberry admitted that he was selfish and self-centered, and like many addicts, wasn’t concerned with who he dragged down along the way.
Committed to Helping Others Avoid the Traps of Substance abuse and Addiction
Today, Strawberry and his wife, who is also a recovering addict, are both ordained ministers. Working together, the two are committed to helping others avoid the trap of substance abuse and addiction. Strawberry also dedicates generously of time and money to help athletes and others who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. He has opened rehab centers in Texas, Florida and St. Louis, and has created a foundation for children with autism. He and his wife support a number of charitable organizations.
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