From 1983 to 1999, Darryl Strawberry wowed crowds with his flashy style, sound fundamentals, and electric play. But all the success belied a deep struggle in his personal life, which begin to push through into baseball. In the mid-1990s, he reached the depths of cocaine abuse, which led to an ignominious end to his baseball career. In 1999, Darryl gave his life to Jesus and the two began piecing Darryl’s life back together. Turn Your Season Around is a baseball-saturated book that takes themes from Darryl’s life and America’s pastime to give clear principles for starting anew.
The Conversation | Josh Olds and Darryl Strawberry
Josh Olds: One of the things you write about in Turn Your Season Around is the importance of scars. And you talk about your own physical scars from your cancer surgeries. And you also have the scars—the mental, emotional scars of your previous life. But you don’t want to forget those things. You want to say that we want to remember them and they can be reminders of God’s grace.
Darryl Strawberry: Well, we could never understand grace if we forget our past, you know? And I think so many of us come to that place of our past and we want to forget about that. Well, how can I help somebody else? I don’t have a story to tell them. I’ve been through some real hard times. And I think that’s what we need to always remember. That’s why my past is so important to me—not to be ashamed of it. If I could have done it…yeah, but I done it the way I did it, so I need to learn something from that. So I could be able to help somebody else, to show them that they don’t have to go down that road.
Why are we so afraid to show our scars? Jesus showed us his scars from the cross, and everything that he had to go through. And we’re sitting here as people—we’re so afraid to show our scars and wounds, and we’re afraid what somebody else has to say…The Bible didn’t say some of us fall short, it says we always fall short. So, if we understand that we always fall short, then you can’t worry about showing your wounds and your scars to somebody because they got some wounds or scars too…
Josh Olds: Writing this book puts you in a in a very vulnerable position. For a lot of people who would know your name, within the context of baseball, they may not know or remember any of the other stuff that happened years ago. And the willingness that you have to keep that conversation going and to use your past and to say, yeah, this is who I was, this is where I am now, I can show you the way if you want to do the same thing…you could very easily just, you know, retired, followed Jesus, lived your life.
Darryl Strawberry: No question, Josh. I mean, I could have went off into the sunset and just been living my life and in a quiet place, but God called me twelve years ago to start preaching and, and I started traveling like 250 times out of the year, and people started coming. And you know, Zondervan came and said, “Would you like to write a book about, you know, who you are, and everything?”. I said, Well, “I’ve already written that book. It was a New York Times bestseller…Why do I need to write another book?” Then my wife said, “God called you to write this book, because this book—it’s not about you. It’s about you being real in your struggles, but it’s about to help somebody else.”
It will be about helping people turn the season around, because we’ve all experienced…this year, 2020, did I know where we’d be in a pandemic? No, no, or the racial issues and the tension in everything that we had in this country? No. But there are so many people that’s going to be in the midst of struggling and trying to figure out how do they get back?
Josh Olds: A lot of people look back on your career, and it was a great career. But they still say “What if…” What if you hadn’t had this drug problem? What would have been different in his career? Do you ever go back and think “What if?”
Darryl Strawberry: No, I never go back and saying what else? I say “Thank you, God.”…Thank you for you utilizing me in such a way to perform like I did and make a lot of people happy. But also thank you for saving me because had I not went through the troubles, I probably would have made another $50-70 million on baseball, and I probably wouldn’t have ever met Jesus because I would have thought I had it all together. So I would say “God, thank you. You gave me a career. You allowed me to play and I have some real troubles but when I looked up, guess who was there to pick me up? Christ Himself was there to pick me up, to save me, and transform me, and bring me to wholeness.
The Book | Turn Your Season Around
Read the full Life is Story review here.
For anyone ready to move their life forward, from tragedy, personal failure, unfair circumstances, or just a sense of being stuck, baseball legend and bestselling author Darryl Strawberry offers transformational practices and the tangible hope that you can enjoy a future filled with power, purpose, and freedom.
Darryl Strawberry has seen it all–the highs and lows of an intense career as a Major League Baseball all-star, drug addiction, marriage challenges, prison time, and battles with cancer. With honesty and transparency, Strawberry shares the same foundational principles that transformed his life from the inside out–the power of prayer, cultivating healthy friendships, weathering trials without losing heart, refreshing the way you think, and letting God change your life for good. Ultimately, he’ll help you discover and trust the redemptive process of making small, daily decisions to follow God into a life of faith, health, and freedom.
Strawberry weaves compelling stories from his own life with those of others he met through his speaking and ministry work across the nation. These uplifting testimonies will inspire you with the reminder that God’s power can renew any life, no matter what has happened. With scriptural insights and real-life examples, Strawberry celebrates the miracles God works in us for healing, cleansing, and new beginnings.
Strawberry’s life story is proof that you can overcome life’s adversities one decision, one step at a time. It’s time to turn your season around.
The Author | Darryl Strawberry
Darryl Strawberry is described as a baseball legend by many who have been dazzled by the dynamics of his game. His many accomplishments in the major leagues include four World Series titles, eight All-Star Game appearances, and a nomination to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.
Though Darryl was extremely successful in his career, his personal life was plagued with addictions, abuse, divorces, cancer, jail time, and other issues. Darryl finally found true redemption and restoration in Jesus Christ. Today, Darryl’s purpose and passion is serving the Lord Jesus Christ by traveling the country, speaking a message of hope and restoration through the power of the gospel.
He is the author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestseller, Straw: Finding My Way (with John Strausbaugh), Don’t Give Up on Me: Shining Light on Addiction with Darryl Strawberry (with Shawn Powell), and The Imperfect Marriage: Help for Those Who Think It’s Over with his wife, Tracy Strawberry. In 2011 Darryl and Tracy founded Strawberry Ministries, and they use their global reach to restore the multitudes through spiritual and practical life applications.