Darryl Strawberry

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Darryl Eugene Strawberry

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Biographical Information[edit]

Darryl Strawberry was a huge star even when he was in grade school. He was touted from that time as an up-and-coming major leaguer. As a youngster, he played ball against Eric Davis, but Strawberry was much the bigger prospect.

Strawberry was signed as the first overall pick in the 1980 amateur draft by the New York Mets and scout Roger Jongewaard. He went on to play 17 years in the majors, although from 1992 to 1999 he never had as many as 300 at-bats in a season. He ended with 335 home runs and 1000 RBI, and was 2nd once in MVP voting and 3rd once. Despite his troubled career, he was still the New York Mets all-time RBI leader until 2012, when David Wright passed him. He was an eight-time All-Star and played on three World Series winners.

He won the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year Award.

He is remembered for hitting what was probably the longest home run ever hit in Montreal. On Opening Day of the 1988 season on April 4th, he hit a blast against reliever Randy St. Claire of the Montreal Expos which hit the concrete ring around the roof at Stade Olympique some 200 feet above the right field wall. The ball was hit so far and so hard that television cameras were unable to track the flight of the ball, but the huge crowd inside the stadium was awed.

Strawberry had injury problems as well as a plethora of personal difficulties, including cancer, drugs, legal problems, and marital issues.

There was a general expectation among fans during the first half of Strawberry's career that Darryl would get into the Hall of Fame and moreover might make a run at some records. Through age 30, the most similar player (based on similarity scores) was Reggie Jackson. For his career as a whole, the most similar players include names such as Ralph Kiner, Larry Doby, and Eric Davis.

He appeared in The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat".

In 2007, Strawberry was the subject of a lawsuit by the federal government filed in West Palm Beach, FL, as he owed almost $500,000 in unpaid taxes. He had been indicted of federal tax evasion in 1994; he had to pay $350,000 and serve six months home confinement after pleading guilty to that offense. In 2017, he confessed to television physician "Dr. Oz" (Dr. Mehmet Öz) that he was a sex addict during his playing career, a condition that led him to seek sexual gratification even between the innings of games he was playing in while coaches and teammates "covered" for him. By that time, he had turned his life around and was working as an addiction counselor, running two drug treatment centers in Florida.

Darryl's son Darryl Eugene Strawberry, Jr. (more commonly known as D.J.), was chosen 59th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He played briefly with Phoenix but spent most of his professional career in Europe. Strawberry's brother, Michael Strawberry, was a minor league outfielder in the Los Angeles Dodgers chain in 1980-1981. His cousin Derek Hill played in the majors.

Notable Achievements[edit]

NL Rookie of the Year
1982 1983 1984
Steve Sax Darryl Strawberry Dwight Gooden

Further Reading[edit]

Related Sites[edit]