In this edition of our Celebrity Addiction Series, our focus is on former MLB slugger Darryl Strawberry. Through all of his talent and booming home runs, Strawberry consistently fought a strong addiction to drugs and alcohol.
At 6’6”, Strawberry was a power-hitting lefty who hit 335 career home runs and drove in 1,000 RBI’s in his 17-year career. The Los Angeles native was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1980 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, and went on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees, finishing his career as an 8-time All-Star and 4-time World Series Champion.
Strawberry won National League Rookie of the Year in 1983 and led the NL in home runs in 1988. As big as his reputation was for his on-field field talent, his addiction to drugs and alcohol may have been even bigger off the field.
Grand Slam Addiction
Strawberry’s addiction traces all the way to his youth, as his father was an alcoholic. After a night where he and his brother confronted their father and forced him to leave the household, Strawberry felt finally free from his father’s abusive ways. He began smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol in high school to escape the pain from his childhood, which stayed with him throughout his years of addiction.
While in playing for the Mets, Strawberry had to deal with the extreme pressure and media scrutiny of playing in New York, which led him to start abusing cocaine, alcohol and other various substances. At one point, he was doing amphetamines on a daily basis. After signing with his hometown Dodgers as a free agent, Strawberry’s drug addiction only grew stronger. One can recall Strawberry going “AWOL” in 1994 from the Dodgers and rumors swirling his unexcused absence was drug related. This led to him being traded to the Giants and eventually being suspended by Major League Baseball.
Strawberry thought he had beaten his addiction after attending a religious convention in Los Angeles, however, after being reinstated and signed by the New York Yankees, Strawberry started abusing drugs again. Subsequently, it led to the end of his second marriage. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998 and went through six months of chemotherapy, but came back to help the Yankees capture another World Series title.
However, Strawberry was arrested in 1999 for drug possession and prostitution solicitation, sending his life in a downward spiral for the next five years.
RBI: Recovery Batted In
Strawberry eventually attended a drug recovery convention and met his 3rd wife, Tracy, who was also a recovering addict. She helped him rediscover his religious values and guided him through his recovery. Today, Strawberry is an ordained minister, author. He and his wife operate Strawberry Ministries, a Christian recovery center and have also co-authored a book and started a foundation for autistic children.
Strawberry’s story is one of fame, darkness, addiction, hitting rock bottom and receiving help from a loved one to sustain long term recovery. It took Strawberry several attempts to finally overcome his addiction issues, so if you or your loved one have attempted recovery multiple times: do not give up.
Call The Discovery House today at 888.962.8208 to begin your road to achieving long term recovery.