2014 Guest Speaker - Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry was the first player taken in the 1980 first-year Amateur Draft and made his big league debut on May 6, 1983. He spent 17 seasons in the major leagues with the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees from 1983-99. He finished with 335 career home runs, 1000 runs batted in and a .259 batting average.
In his first big league season, Strawberry batted .257 with 26 home runs, seven triples and 74 RBIs, earning Rookie of the Year honors in the National League.
Strawberry made the first of his eight All-Star Game appearances in 1984. He played on four World Series championship teams, was a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, won the 1986 All-Star Game Home Run Derby, was the 1988 National League home run champion and joined baseball's exclusive 30-30 club in 1987 when he hit 39 home runs and stole 36 bases. He finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting to Kirk Gibson of the Dodgers in 1988.
He finished second in the MVP voting again in 1990, when he hit 37 homers and drove in 108 runs, and in November of 1990 he signed a five-year, $22.25 million free agent contract with his hometown Dodgers. Strawberry hit 28 home runs and drove in 99 runs his first year in Los Angeles, but injuries and personal problems limited him to just 10 home runs combinded in the next two seasons.
He was suspended from baseball at the beggining of the 1995 season due to his involvement with cocaine, but he played for the Yankees at the end of the season. After a stint in the National League at the start of the 1996 season, Strawberry again signed with the Yankees on July 4, 1996. He helped New York to World Series titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999, and he played his final game for the Yankees in 1999.
After battles with cancer and drug addiction, Strawberry became a born-again Christian and now is a minister in the St. Louis area with his wife, Tracy.