LAURINBURG — Eight-time Major League Baseball All Star, four-time World Series champion and 1983 National League Rookie of the Year Darryl Strawberry will speak at the “Fields of Faith” service hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Pate Stadium on Sept. 25 at 6:45 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.
Strawberry will give testimony along with several students throughout the event, which will last for approximately two hours.
“To have someone like Darryl testify and prove that God does make a difference, it means a lot,” said Pastor Paul Lemmond, the FCA’s area director for Scotland County.
Strawberry, 56, played for 17 years in the MLB. The right fielder played for the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees throughout his career. He won his first World Series championship with the Mets in 1986 and went on to win three more with the Yankees in 1996, 1998 and 1999.
Strawberry finished his career with 335 home runs, 1,000 RBIs and 1,401 hits.
A native of Los Angeles, Strawberry struggled with substance abuse during and after his baseball career. He was suspended from the MLB three times because of that issue, with the last punishment being a one-year ban from the league in 2000.
Strawberry was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998 — getting 24 inches of his colon removed that same year and had a tumor removed from near his kidneys in 2000 as he continued to fight the cancer. He also underwent several rounds of chemotherapy.
Strawberry was in and out of drug treatment facilities during the early 2000s. He eventually married his third wife, Tracy, in 2006 after the couple met at a Narcotics Anonymous convention.
A born-again Christian, Tracy supported Darryl as he chose to dedicate his life to God.
The couple founded the Darryl Strawberry Foundation to help raise awareness and funding for autism research.
Now an ordained minister, Strawberry travels the country sharing his testimony.
There will be a meeting on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at New Hope Baptist Church for those who are interested in helping with or participating in the event.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.