Darryl Strawberry will be one of the main subjects of Judd Apatow’s new ’30 for 30′ documentary, Doc & Daryl, airing tonight on ESPN. The former MLB right fielder is well-known for both his professional and his personal life– he helped the Yankees win three World Series Championships, but was also suspended by the league three times for substance abuse. Strawberry is also the author of a memoir, called ‘Straw: Finding My Way’.
Read on to learn more about him.
1. He Was Diagnosed With Colon Cancer
In 1998, Strawberry was diagnosed with colon cancer. He underwent surgery two days later to remove a tumor and 24 inches of his colon. Two weeks later, doctors announced that the cancer had been detected in a lymph node, and Strawberry would undergo chemotherapy.
On July 28, 2000, ABC News reported that the former MLB star’s cancer had returned. “…a CT scan suggests the cancer has spread to lymph nodes, and Strawberry will undergo more tests next week, said his agent, Eric Grossman.” But Strawberry was ready to fight. He told WABC-TV, “I’m in for another battle. I’m in a pretty good place now in my head, and I think that’s the most important thing… I really don’t feel disturbed about the situation as much as I was before.” The following month, doctors removed a tumor and a kidney.
2. He Was Arrested for Soliciting Sex from a Policewoman
On April 3, 1999, Strawberry was arrested for possessing cocaine and soliciting prostitution from a policewoman who was working undercover. When he was suspended from the MLB for 140-days, he pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 21 months probation.
People reported that he offered the undercover officer $50 for sex. Authorities found the 0.3 grams of cocaine wrapped in a $20 bill in his wallet.
3. He’s an Evangelical Born-Again Christian
Eventually, Strawberry’s addictions got in the way of his baseball career. When his wife, Tracy, was in LA to visit her husband, she invited him to an evangelist convention run by Morris Cerello. Darryl told CBN,
‘That weekend, all I did was cry when I heard him up there preaching. This Sunday, I’m going to lay hands on everybody that comes in here.’ That was the most remarkable move I had ever seen in my life. There was a line formed. The power of God hit me, and when I got up, my belly was like a river. It was just like a river. I had never experienced anything like that in my life.’
Strawberry is an ordained minister who, in 2011, founded Strawberry Ministries with his wife, Tracy. In 2014, he co-founded the Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center in Florida. Strawberry has committed a majority of his time to charity over the past few years– he is a youth outreach spokesperson, advocate for autism, and was the Met’s special Instructor and Community Outreach Spokesperson.
He and his wife’s bios on Strawberry Ministries read, “Darryl and Tracy found true redemption and restoration in Jesus Christ. Today, they share their story as a powerful illustration of the true power of God and His redeeming love. They are on a mission to lead people to Jesus Christ, and to restore lives and relationships through the power of God and the process of change.”
4. He Met His Wife in a Drug Recovery Convention
In 2005, Strawberry’s first wife, Charisse, filed for divorce. He met his second wife, Tracy, in a drug recovery program. Together, the two founded The Darryl Strawberry Foundation. In 2011, Autism Light wrote, “Darryl Strawbery and his wife Tracy formed a foundation in 2006 that benefits autism. Along with promoting the cause of the foundation they speak on the subject of their Christian faith, which they credit with saving their life.”
Tracy is an ordained minister and the author of a book called, The Perfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It’s Over. She also founded ‘Born Unique Ministry: Training Teens to Live in the Power of Jesus Christ.’
5. He Was Under House Arrest for Two Years
On September 11, 2000, Strawberry was arrested after driving to an appointment with his parole officer while under the influence of painkillers. During the drive, he blacked out and rear-ended another car. Strawberry fled the scene, and was pulled over by an off-duty police officer who saw the accident. At his hearing, Strawberry told Judge Florence Foster, “‘I used the wrong judgment … taking medication because I didn’t feel well. I just blacked out. I didn’t know if I hurt anybody. I feel really bad about that.'”
During the hearing, Strawberry also said that he had taken Ambien and had prescriptions for Percocet and Vicodin. Since the accident occurred while the baseball star was driving to see his probation officer, he was sentenced to two years of house arrest.