Baseball's Strawberry: Work, Faith Can Save a Broken Marriage

Friday, 08 Aug 2014 03:19 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A broken marriage can be saved through hard work and a devout faith in God, no matter how bad things have gotten, baseball legend Darryl Strawberry says.

And the World Series champion outfielder for the New York Mets and New York Yankees said he did just that, after years of battling drugs, infidelity and cancer, during an appearance Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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Strawberry and his second wife Tracy have penned a new self-help book, "The Imperfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It's Over," written with A.J. Gregory and published by Howard Books.

"I thrive on the fact that I'm a God-centered man, I love my wife, I love my kids and that's the way I live,'' Strawberry said. "I'm grateful for my wife, I'm grateful that she didn't give up on me and we're able to go through so many things together and just stay together and learn and grow in principles and purpose.''

Tracy Strawberry agreed, telling Malzberg: "Faith is definitely number one … Just being strong in God. Because I'll tell you what, willpower is not enough. Jesus Christ allowed me to love Darryl through the hard times.

"I had to look at myself and admit my wrongs and become honest with myself and Darryl had to do the same, but we both got serious. We grew up, we both got on board.

"[We] said … we have to learn how to communicate, we have to learn to heal from the inside out and overcome these issues and deal with them and stop running.''

The couple wed in 2006 after meeting at a drug recovery convention, years after Strawberry's many problems exploded into the headlines and threatened his baseball career.

Over the years he was charged with failing to pay child support, diagnosed with colon cancer, did stints in rehab and served time in jail for violating parole.

But that was then. He is now a born-again Christian.

"I don't like to talk about it much, but this is what we talk about in this book to help people understand that a transformation has to come about in your life where you change inside, not what you look like on the outside,'' Strawberry said. "Everybody looks great on the outside, but inside people have so many deep-rooted, vetted issues in their life that are so toxic, they can never get well and you're going to stay in the same place if you don't do that.''

Strawberry is now a minister.

"Brokenness is brokenness and the divorce rate will tell you it doesn't matter if you're Darryl Strawberry, if you're famous or not,'' Tracy Strawberry said. "We worked our way from the bottom up and maybe you didn't fall that far down the scale, but this book is for … people looking for answers.

"We have got to stop running and just pushing things away. And thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.''

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