The former Mets player will be the guest of honor at the The Courage Center’s annual Valentine’s Day Celebrity Breakfast next Friday.
Strawberry, the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year, played 17 seasons in the big leagues for four different teams — winning World Series championships four times and appearing on eight all-star squads. He was also suspended three times for substance abuse, however, and was often criticized for a perceived lack of work ethic.
At the event, Strawberry will “share his personal journey recovering from substance abuse,” the press release said.
After baseball, he dealt with a litany of legal issues related to his various addictions, including a self-acknowledged sex addiction.
His darkest days were between 2000-2003 after his playing career ended. Strawberry finished his career hitting .259 with 335 home runs and 1,000 runs batted in.
During that time, Strawberry spent 11 months in prison for violating the rules of the drug treatment center in Ocala, Florida where he was serving a probationary sentence.
As one of the most famous athletes in the 80s and 90s, Strawberry inspired a slew of professional athletes including Kobe Bryant. Strawberry recently was a quoted in a Mets blog saying Bryant’s death “hit home” for him.
“He would always tell me he was a Mets fan and that I was his favorite player,” Strawberry said on the Mets blog. “I was always honored when a great player like Kobe would say I was his favorite.
The baseball legend wrote several books, including “Don’t Give Up on Me: Shedding Light on Addiction With Darryl Strawberry.”
Strawberry will be speaking alongside other honored guests and recovery advocates with The Courage Center, an organization helping those struggling with addiction and substance abuse with support groups, coaching, education and outreach.
“The Courage Center’s mission of providing a safe, supportive, recovery-focused setting for young people and families on their recovery journey,” the press release said.
The breakfast will focus on the need for “more peer-topeer recovery support for youth and families in the Midlands.”
Details of the event open to the public:
WHAT: The Courage Center Annual Valentine’s Day Celebrity Breakfast
WHEN: 7:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14
WHERE: Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church – 1205 Old Cherokee Road in Lexington.
COST: Tickets are $75 per individual and a limited number of tables are still available ($750 for table of 8).
100 percent of all proceeds will benefit The Courage Center and the families it supports.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an award-winning journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].