I had heard the name Darryl Strawberry in passing once or twice as a kid. The thing I remember most about him was the fact that my brother and I were so amused that his last name was Strawberry. Most strawberries are nice and sweet, making you want to eat them all up. Not this Strawberry, no, this strawberry was just plain rotten.
Darryl Eugene Strawberry was born on March 12, 1962 in Las Angeles, California. He played baseball at Crenshaw High School and watched his older brother Michael move up to the MLB. After graduating in 1980 Strawberry was drafted as first overall pick by the New York Mets. I personally was not around in the 1980’s but for those who were you might remember his unique batting stance where he added a high kick in with the swing.
In 1983 Strawberry hit an impressive 26 home runs, 7 triples, and 74 runs batted in. In 1984 he would make the first of his consecutive 5 appearances in the MLB all-star game. Between 1983 and 1990 Darryl established himself as a star in the baseball world appearing in magazine, on posters, and banners. He also got known for his disruptive behavior when him and fellow teammate Backman got into a physical altercation during which Strawberry threatened to: “Bust that little redneck in the face”. (this happening after he got into a verbal fight with team captain Keith Hernandez). Those are fighting words Darryl!
Strawberry often overslept and was either late to or missed team practices completely. He doesn’t sound very fun to work with. In 1987 Strawberry hit 39 homers and stole 36 bases, earning himself a spot in the very exclusive 30-30 club. In 1988 he would hit 39 home runs again leading the national league. Ok I am going to sum this up for you guys, in 1989 he had a mediocre season but would redeem himself during the 1990 season.
In 1991 at the age of 29 Strawberry had already hit a total of 280 home runs. Darryl would retire from baseball in 1999.
Now to the juiciest of fruit juices…. I’m just going to show myself out now. On December 19, 1995 Strawberry was charged with failing to make child support payments. The case went to court and he agreed to pay his debt using his signing bonus from that year. In August 1998 Darryl Strawberry was sued by lawyer Robert Shapiro for $100,000 in legal fees.
I will mention that on October 1, 1998 Strawberry was diagnosed with cancer that eventually spread to his lymph nodes. After surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission. I am very happy that he was able to survive that harrowing ordeal.
On April 3, 1999 Strawberry was arrested in Tampa, Florida for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer claiming to be a prostitute. On May 29 of that year he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 21 months of probation as well as community service. On September 11, 2000 Strawberry took painkillers and drove to see his parole officer. During the trip he blacked out rear ended another car then attempted to flee the scene. He was arrested by an off-duty officer who happened to witness the whole incident.
The next day Strawberry admitted to what he had done and his current probation was upped to 2 years of house arrest. On October 25, 2000 Strawberry violated his house arrest by going out to do drugs with a female friend. He was sentenced to 40 days in jail with credit given to time served. On November 30 of that year he was released from prison and sent to rehab. This was after he told on a judge on November 2 that he had lost the will to live and stopped chemotherapy.
On April 2, 2001 Strawberry was arrested for leaving the court ordered rehab center. On May 1, 2001 he was sentenced to do more time at the center. You think dude would have just learned his lesson by now. What the hell!? On March 12, 2002 Darryl ended up back in… you guessed it jail, after violating several non-drug policies at the rehab clinic.
On April 29, 2002 they were done playing games with his funky ass and he was ordered to serve the 22-month suspended prison sentence he received back in 1999. After serving 11 months Strawberry was released on April 3, 2003. So that ends the tale of this baseball players sordid life…. just kidding!
In September 2005 he was charged with filing a false police report stating that his SUV has been stolen. I’m not sure what the hell happened to it but it sure hadn’t been stolen. I saved the best for last, Strawberry is a self-diagnosed sex addict, and publicly announced that he routinely had sex in between innings of games that he played in.
Well, this is yet another case of a very talented athlete who was not so blessed in the brains department. At the end of the day I have decided that I like strawberry bubblegum, I like strawberry jelly, I like strawberry candy, and I like good ol’ strawberries. But this is one strawberry that I would rather stay away from.
Again, ……I will show myself out…..
‘Darryl Strawberry: A Changed Man’ – CBN
‘Darryl Strawberry – A Fallen Star’ – ESPN