"I'm Mr. New York, people in New York love me. They got my back on this."
Baseball legend, two-time cancer survivor, autism spokesperson, community outreach advocate, and New York Times best-selling author Darryl Strawberry is described as a legend by many who have been dazzled by the dynamics of his game, the power he possessed at the plate and the story of redemption that continues to bring hope to so many lives.
He has earned the legendary nicknames and phrases of one of the most feared homerun hitters in the game of baseball: "Straw's Sweet Swing," "Strawberry's Field Forever," and "The Legendary Straw Man!" Today, Strawberry's passion is using his story to change the lives of others, whether he is speaking about cancer survival, those afflicted and affected by autism, overcoming addiction, or his faith in God. In his New York Times best-selling memoir, "Straw: Finding My Way" (Ecco), he shares his whole story: growing up in Crenshaw, Los Angeles; his rise to baseball superstardom as a Met, Dodger, and Yankee; his public and private struggles with addiction; his triumphant battle over cancer; his religious awakening; and his marriage to the love of his life, Tracy Strawberry.
Strawberry's achievements have earned him the respect and entitlement that he has searched for all his life. He is currently recognized as the roving instructor and community outreach spokesperson for the New York Mets, The Mets pre- and post-game television sports announcer for Sports New York (SNY), public speaker, joint venture consultant and entrepreneur through Strawmarketing LLC, spokesperson as a two-time cancer survivor, Action for Autism Advocate, and youth outreach advocate.
Strawberry remains one of the most celebrated New York ballplayers in recent memory. An eight-time All-Star, four-time World Series Champion, and National League Rookie of the Year, he played for the Mets, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees during his headlining career. His personal story of suffering and pain derives from the severe abuse that he suffered at the hand of a raging alcoholic father. This part of his life created the deep compassion in his heart for children and anyone suffering at the hands of abuse. Strawberry's desire is that his story will instill hope in others and will encourage them to believe that healing is possible. Today, after overcoming many personal challenges including colon cancer, he is an All Star in the autism community. His 501c-3 non-profit organization, The Darryl Strawberry Foundation, donates funds needed for the facilities and programs that provide hope for individuals and groups in need. As he says, "Autism is a very serious epidemic and we must give it all we've got to search for a cure, help these families and support these precious souls."
Other career highlights for Strawberry include being a part of the New York Times' list of favorite celebrities out of the 100 most famous people in New York City, eight-time National League All-Star from 1984 to 1991, 1988 National League Homerun Leader, 1988 Two-Time NL Silver Slugger Award, 1988 National League Slugging Percentage Leader, 100 Runs Scored Seasons two times over in 1987 and 1988, 100 RBI Seasons three times over in 1987, 1988, 1990, 20 Home Run Seasons ten times over from 1983 to 1991 and 1998, 30 Home Run Seasons three times over in 1987, 1988 and 1990, the 1983 National League Rookie of the Year as a member of the New York Mets, the 1983 Topps All-Star Rookie of the Year and a Baseball Hall of Fame nomination in 2004.
Now retired from baseball, Strawberry is devoted to his church and to his work with individuals affected by autism via the Darryl Strawberry Foundation. Since Opening Day 2008, Strawberry has served as special ambassador for the Mets.
Darryl's charity is The Darryl Strawberry Foundation
Darryl and his wife, Tracy, started The Darryl Strawberry Foundation, and together, they've raised money and awareness across America for children who are affected by autism. In 2006, Darryl and Tracy visited a group of kids at the Center for Autism Education and immediately, they knew they wanted to commit themselves to this cause. Since then, the two of them have been involved in every aspect of their charity. They organize every event, including celebrity golf outings where all the money raised goes directly to autism programs. Darryl and Tracy have also established personal relationships with various children and families affected by autism and they currently work closely with legislators, fighting for services that will help these individuals secure a better future.