2 minute read

Darryl Strawberry

Sent To Prison In 2002

In March 2001 Strawberry left his drug-treatment program for four days and tested positive for drug use upon his return. He was also found to have conducted a sexual relationship with another resident of the program, a violation of the center's rules. As both actions were in violation of his parole agreement, Strawberry returned to court in April 2002. Having racked up six parole violations, Strawberry received a prison sentence of eighteen months, which he began serving on April 29, 2002. Now forty years old, Strawberry's eighteen-month prison sentence indicated that any future in professional sports was over. Suffering from bipolar disorder, Strawberry's health had also suffered from cocaine use, which had possibly caused brain damage.

Sympathy for Strawberry's latest round of legal and personal problems in 2002 focused on the lost potential of a once-great athlete. Although Strawberry had achieved more in his seventeen years in the major leagues than most other players—and in fact still held the Mets' records for most hits and most runs batted in—he seemed to have wasted his natural abilities in favor of decades of alcohol and drug use. Once a Rookie of the Year and World Series champion, Strawberry's personal demons were so strong that they eventually ended his career and landed him in jail. Few could have imagined that the former first-round draft pick would have fallen so far. His

Darryl Strawberry

fate stood in particularly stark contrast with the hopeful tone that Strawberry presented in the conclusion of his 1992 memoir Darryl. "Now my days of hanging back are over," he wrote, "I've made too many mistakes that way and let too many people down. You want to see a leader? Just watch us play next year. There's a long winter ahead of us, a long time to think about what's going to happen next season. But as someone once wrote, When winter comes, can spring training be far behind?"

Where Is He Now?

On April 29, 2002, Judge Ralph Steinberg of the Hillsborough Circuit Court sentenced Darryl Strawberry to an eighteen-month prison term for violating his court-ordered parole. It was the second time that Strawberry had been sent to jail for parole violations. In announcing the sentence, the court specified that Strawberry's contact with the media would be limited to one interview per month by advance arrangement.

Although his parole violations included drug use and entering into a sexual relationship with another patient while undergoing substance-abuse treatment, Strawberry's wife of nine years, Charisse Strawberry, declared her support for her husband. She vowed to continue her work as the president of the Tampa, Florida chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Charisse Strawberry also began appearing as a broadcast journalist on a Tampa Bay news station in March 2001. Charisse Strawberry and the couple's three children reside in Tampa.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseballDarryl Strawberry Biography - Grew Up In Compton, Drafted By New York Mets, Chronology, Substance Abuse Problems, Signed With New York Yankees - SELECTED WRITINGS BY STRAWBERRY: