Recently turned on Tavis Smiley on PBS. I find his show pretty hit and miss in terms of my interest, but seeing Darryl Strawberry in the left-hand chair kept me listening.
You remember Darryl?--the Mets rookie of the year, great talent, big career numbers, and monumental drug and judgment problems. Tough to forget. I always wanted this comeback to be the one that takes. Well, to quote from his website:
Throughout the eighties and nineties, however, Strawberry faced many personal challenges, including drug use, tax evasion, solicitation, and allegations of domestic violence. His seasons with the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees were interrupted by suspensions, visits to rehab, and treatment for colon cancer. But in 2006, Strawberry's life changed course dramatically. With his wife, Tracy, he devoted himself to his church and to his work with children and adults affected by autism and other developmental disorders. I found his demeanor during Tavis's interview as impressive as his content. Here is a guy who comes across really grounded--finally. His major league days are over, but his major life accomplishments seem just to be getting in full swing. He speaks openly about the temptations of professional sports and his own emptiness. He recalls rounding the basepaths after hitting a homerun, yet feeling like a failure. The drugs, the parties, the lifestyle just were not strong enough medicine to make his pain stay away. So seeing the calm of this strongly centered guy in the left-hand chair was striking.
Now the Darryl Strawberry Foundation, funded in part by sales of his autobiography and his charity golf tournament, is his pride and joy. He and his wife, Tracy, are making a difference in the lives of autistic children and their families.
Our prayers for your continuing recovery from cancer and addiction, Darryl. Looks like you've got important stuff to do.