CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — He’s had what many considered it all. Fame and Fortune. 335 home runs. But baseball legend Darryl Strawberry isn’t basking in the glory days as a baseball champion.
He’s taking a swing at another issue– the opioid crisis. “Addiction started in my life early, ” he said. “I started drinking at an early age, drinking at 13.”
He’s sharing his personal struggle with drug abuse, teaming up with his wife and an Ohio Pastor, Jerry O’Brien.
Together they are spreading the message that through “faith-based intervention” – you can break your addiction.
Pastor O’Brien reached out to Strawberry after a dream he had one-night last year. “In the dream, I was in front of all of these pastors. We were in a huge auditorium and I was there with the Attorney General, ” he said. “And Darryl Strawberry was there too.”
O’Brien said he didn’t know Strawberry, but phoned him anyhow the next day. He was surprised to get a return call.
“I just had to return his call myself. Person to person to tell him how important this situation really is,” Strawberry said.
Now they’re touring the Buckeye State.
They’re reaching out to local pastors on how to help addicts and showing how a spiritual broken soul can be repaired.
Strawberry shares his personal story to get the message across. “I ended up in a Florida prison. I’ve almost ended up dead several times, ” said Strawberry.
The New York Mets and Yankees legend spent several stints behind bars. He lost millions to drugs, alcohol and partying.
But he’s clean and sober now.
“It was my wife helping me, she helped lead me back to Christ. Lead me back to the church, ” he said.
He stresses faith is what is missing most in many addict’s lives. And through God’s grace, he says he’s now trying to help others find their faith.
“The epidemic is so real, ” Strawberry said. “And if we don’t get back to bringing biblical principals back into their lives, they’re going to continue to overdose and die.”
Strawberry and his wife have two faith-based recovery centers in Florida.