Darryl Strawberry
(Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

Rarely on “Sloppy Cases” comes a player who had a superstar-level career. Ty Cobb is the one to come to most people’s minds. However, Outfielder Darryl Strawberry was the modern-day version in a different way, crushing balls well over 400 feet regularly, yet didn’t have luck on his side.

Many speculated Strawberry to be a Hall of Famer. He didn’t quite reach it, due to injuries, but still accomplished a lot on the field. From 1984 through 1991, Darryl Strawberry was in the All-star game every season and tore up the National League as a New York Met. His best season came arguably in 1987, batting .284 with 39 home runs and 104 Runs Batted in. He also had a beautiful .981 On-base plus slugging. The next season, he had a slightly lower average but matched his home run totals. He finished runner-up in MVP voting behind Kirk Gibson.

Sadly, injuries leaped on Strawberry once he reached his thirties, and never really let go. From 1991-1999, he only appeared in 451 games in total. He ended up retiring at age 37, with 335 career home runs, and 1,000 runs batted in.

Even during his playing career, Strawberry suffered hardship, bad luck, and unwise decision-making. In 1995, he failed to pay child support leading to him needing to use his signing bonus to pay it off. In 1997, attorney Robert Shapiro sued Strawberry for $100,000 in legal fees. It was around this time too that Darryl was diagnosed with colon cancer. He survived it.

What followed after his playing days were brush-ups with the law once again. He served jail time twice. Once being caught for soliciting sex with a cop posing as a prostitute. The law also found drugs on him. His next offense came when driving under the influence and passing out, and committed a hit and run. He then committed drug violations, giving him more probation and jail time. He admitted that he was a sex addict, and would have sex in between innings during his playing days.

Strawberry lived a wild life. In the last 20 years, Darryl has kept his cool for the most part. He left a mark on baseball and had perhaps the prettiest swing until Ken Griffey Jr. came along. New York still has a ton of respect for the former outfielder.

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