Darryl Strawberry had a sensational career as a baseball player. He was named nine times to All Star teams. He helped the New York Mets win one World Series. And he helped the New York Yankees win three World Series.
But Strawberry was also famous for booze, drugs, and womanizing.
He now has a new career. Darryl Strawberry is a minister. And, on Sunday, Strawberry told members of an Arlington congregation that the fame and the millions left him empty.
At a Baptist congregation called The Church at Clarendon, pastor David Perdue has organized a series of sermons called Blunt Questions. The question on this Sunday: "What does God have against sex, drugs, and rock and roll?" The guest minister: former baseball great Darryl Strawberry, who asked those attending the 11:00 a.m. service: "T16179. You know what that is? That's a prison number that I got. Because of addiction."
Darryl Strawberry's wife, Tracy, told the congregation: she was a "party girl" who also abused drugs and alcohol to the point where she lost custody of her children (from a previous marriage).
"Because that sin that was destroying me, I used to love [it] and used to willingly participate in [it] because that was my lifestyle," Tracy Strawberry declared. "Now, Christ is my lifestyle. He changed the desires of my heart, I didn't."
The Strawberrys, who are now both ministers, told the Arlington church-goers: do not confuse worldly success with happiness.
"I was once lost to the world," preached Darryl Strawberry with a smile. "I was once a man who had riches, fame, fortune -- everything you can ask to have. But there was no truth in that. There was no truth until I found Christ."
Congregants listened intently. Afterward, church member Ron Green told us, "I just was thinking about all the young athletes that have a lot of money. I'm hoping that maybe they'll hear this and maybe not make the same mistakes."
After the service, members of the Church at Clarendon got a chance to take a group photo (on the church front steps) with a minister who, earlier in life, earned four World Series victory rings.
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