Darryl Strawberry is touring parts of the country this week on a mission: to share his personal stories with young people and, hopefully, to inspire them to find their path in life without succumbing to the same pressures he did.
Strawberry, the all-time leading home run hitter for the New York Mets, has been speaking at schools and opening up about the pitfalls of fame and everything he’s learned from what he went through. On Monday, he arrived at a school that found itself in national headlines recently–Steubenville High–and spoke about the importance of staying on track.
“Through God in my life is why I stand here today. There were issues in me embedded at a young age — and they eventually play out. In this generation, I think young kids are challenged with so many things, and you just want to guide them around because of the many challenges they face today,” he said.
Strawberry came through a struggle with drug and alcohol abuse by turning to the church, and is now a pastor who offers guidance to young people and families. In fact, he has been asked by New Direction Ministry to appear at a fundraiser at the end of the month and speak about his life.
“Having this superstar status as a great baseball player and then falling to drugs and incarceration — that’s our tie to this ministry because we deal with guys that used to have good lives and they lost them. But to come back and look at Darryl Strawberry’s life and say ‘man, look at him now.’ He went through whatever storm he was going through and now he’s on the other side of it,” said executive director Tyrone McGruder.