Baseball Great Darryl Strawberry Says Our Society is Broken

Darryl Strawberry was an 8-time all-star and 4-time World Series champion, admired for his swing, but notorious for his self-destructive addictions he would later overcome. The slugger turned minister, has since opened addiction centers in Florida where he and his wife, Tracy have answered the charge to take on the opioid crisis.

Question: “You’ve learned a lesson over the years?”

Darryl: “He reminds you it’s never about you. I think too many of us think it’s about us; but it’s about His plan and His purpose working through you to make a difference in someone else’s life. We need to deal with sin in this culture because it keeps us separated from God’s great love. The depth of bondage is real!”                                                          

Question: “Summarize your baseball career.”

Darryl: “Awesome! To play and be successful and be broken at the same time that’s so amazing to be able to do the things that I was able to do throughout my Major League career. It’s only a short window for you to excel and then it’s over and then who are you?”                                       

Question: “Does it look different to you now on this side of it?”

Darryl: “That’s a good point, Tom. It looks totally different now when I look at old clips of it and I say ‘wow’, I just couldn’t believe how good I was. I never recognized myself as that. I enjoyed playing and had fun winning.”                

Question: “Your rock bottom?”

Darryl:  “Well, I had a lot of rock bottoms, but the real rock bottom was in a Florida state prison with T17169, because of addiction.  Not guilty of any crime, but guilty of the consequences because of my sins and how did I get here, from stardom to the pit.”        

Question: “What do you find to be the most frequent source for addiction?”

Darryl: “What I find more than anything is how’s the household? If you’re not there and available for the kids, and you’re not pouring real things into their life and a lot of fathers don’t understand why kids are broken because the father has never walked a faithful walk and now it’s allowed his kids to be affected.”

Question: “What was childhood like for you?”

Darryl: “It was very difficult. Very Challenging. Very lonely more than anything! And the brokenness of my life came because of the emptiness and the rejection from my father. You know, I found myself playing baseball because of my pain, which my pain would eventually lead me to my greatness. And then eventually lead me to my destructive behavior because of the emptiness inside.”    

Question: “Growing addictions, nationally. What’s the concern you have about this epidemic?”

Darryl: “The concern I have about the epidemic of opium and heroin addiction is people are losing their life. And pharmaceutical companies are getting rich.  A kid 15, 16 years old, once they alter their mind, their mind changes forever. And once prescription pain killers come into play, they get addicted to them immediately because they can always go back and get more. It’s just like a drug dealer on the street.”  

Question: “When you’re walking with youth, what’s between your experience at that age and their experience?”

Darryl: “As a person who has struggled with that and can remember the fingers being pointed at me, I’m realizing today that our society is broken, spiritually broken, that’s why we have such a negative impact on addiction and we need to bring hope! And people need to come back and learn to love people and help people where they’re at.”     

Question: “Are rehab agencies open to consider faith?”

Darryl:  “Treatment centers are more open and actually I’m turning my treatment facility into a Christian, Christ-centered, treatment center. Because I know it works! And I think the government is looking into more faith-based programs to come into play and faith is the new idea to come to treatment centers to make a difference.”

Question: ”Issues, it really involves their entirety!”

Darryl: “That’s the only way you’re going to get well. I mean we dealt with it from so many different angles and it hasn’t put a dent into what’s happening. If we can get Biblical principles back into peoples lives, people will get well!  He brings about restoration and restores people’s lives to wholeness. I’m a prime example!” 

Question: “Addiction is addiction. Where else are we seeing signs in society?

Darryl: “Sex addiction is very powerful! And that’s why you see so many men get caught up in pornography because it’s a desire that’s developed inside of you and you find yourself in places you never could have imagined. My sex addiction was very strong and I lost two marriages because of that.”    

Question: “As destructive, as drug addiction?”

Darryl: “Yes it is. So many struggle with it – and, we don’t want to talk about it because it’s shameful. You have to stop kidding yourself and stop lying to yourself, and safeguard yourself. When we deal with those real inside issues, that’s when we become overcomers.”                        

Question: “For those watching, whatever the addiction is. How do they confront it to become free?”

Darryl:  “Commit to someone else, and openly share your struggles. When we can get to that place, you can get delivered. You understand that He loves you right where you’re at! Christ Himself will never point fingers at you. He’ll say ‘come as you are!” Christ is here to rescue you, first. Then He’s here to redeem you with His blood! Then He’s going to restore you with His grace!”

Question: “That broad measure of deliverance. For you Darryl Strawberry, Jesus Christ has become a hero, a rescue, what does He mean to you?”

Darryl: “Christ means everything to me! I always wanted to know why I was created. Not just hitting homeruns and winning championships and making millions of dollars. But why am I here? And I needed to understand that!  And when you come and make your commitment to Jesus, He will show you everything about yourself and He will deliver you and He will set you free from the bondage and the chains of darkness.”           

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