Memorable sports moment of the week – Darryl Strawberry debuts as a professional with the New York Mets

Amazingly, Darryl Strawberry has managed to make it all go right.

Famed right fielder Darryl Strawberry debuted as a professional with the New York Mets 30 years ago today on May 6, 1983.

The 21-year-old Strawberry, taken by New York out of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles with the first overall pick in the 1980 MLB Draft, recorded his first hit two days later on May 8.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the 6-foot-6, 200 pound Strawberry was a menacing presence at the plate.

Using a long, looping swing, the eight-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner amassed 335 homers, 1,000 RBI and 1,401 hits over 17 seasons before retiring as a New York Yankee in October 1999.

Although able to compile impressive statistics, Strawberry was sidetracked by addictions to booze and blow and never entirely fulfilled his promise on the diamond.

Admitting to suicidal thoughts in November 2000, Strawberry has apparently overcome many personal demons and is living happily in Missouri with his wife, Tracy.

A cancer survivor who has turned to Christianity, the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year is actively involved in charitable causes through “The Darryl Strawberry Foundation.”

An important piece of four World Series championship teams, Strawberry is a better man removed from America’s pastime.

Granted, the immensely talented lefty will always be considered an athletic disappointment by many fans and members of the media.

Regardless, and of greater importance, Darryl Strawberry has become a human success story in the game of life.

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