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Straw: Finding My Way Hardcover – April 28, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, Strawberry was one of the most feared sluggers in baseball, a perennial All-Star who was dubbed The Black Ted Williams. Sadly, his effortless production on the field belied his troubles off it. Growing up in South Central L.A. with an abusive, negligent father left Strawberry unsure on how to become a man, and playing pro baseball provided the foundation and means to become an alcohol and drug addict. Thanks to Strawberry's hard-living lifestyle, his attempts at domestic stability are colossal failures, and his halfhearted attempts at rehab lead to jail time and a damaged reputation. At his lowest point, Strawberry turns to God, leading him to redemption. The sheer turbulence of his life—which also includes two bouts of cancer in his 30s—certainly makes for a readable book, though not a probing one. The clichéd writing and Strawberry's refusal to delve deeper into his past (a troubled older brother; his strained relationship with pro athlete son, DJ) make it hard to bond with Strawberry, and his newfound spirituality provides only another barrier. 16-page photo insert not seen by PW. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“STRAW is the story of a guy who had two strikes against him in the middle innings of life and hit one out of the park.” (Reggie Jackson)

“Darryl Strawberry hit more than 300 homers and shared in four championships, but he will be remembered as much for what he didn’t accomplish as for all of the things he accomplished. In STRAW, he tells you why.” (Buster Olney, Author of THE LAST NIGHT OF THE YANKEE DYNASTY)

“Darryl has written a profound book on the meaning of celebrity, sports and manhood. Reading his story, you follow an incredibly talented ballplayer who fell prey to his demons off the field. This is a riveting and memorable account of one man’s pursuit of a meaningful life.” (David Cone)

“If you’re looking for an interesting book about a chaotically interesting life, Straw makes for good reading.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061704202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061704208
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barry Pearl on April 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting, sometimes compelling and mostly easy to read book about Darryl Strawberry his life, and that era of baseball although, in many ways though this is a very hard book to review. Darryl is not an unlikable person' In fact you root for him. But he is not a good person and you have to take on faith that he has changed.
The book starts off with a horrific scene with Darryl's father holding a gun on the family and his brother holding a knife trying to get their violent father out of the house. The effects of having a violent rule parent are prominently displayed throughout the book.
Darryl explains how and why that he was drawn to drugs and drinking. How he cheated on his wives, broke the law, found drugs and was very irresponsible.
Darryl does explain the atmosphere of major league baseball on the mid-80s with girls, alcohol and drugs all over the place. Many times he describes coming to the field with a huge hangover and taking handfuls of amphetamines to get through the game. Darryl saw all of baseball like this. I don't know if it was or if that is just how Darryl saw it. It was interesting to read about the attitude of the Mets of that era, especially David Come and Keith Hernandez. Davey Johnson, who seemed to ignore these problems, does not come across well. But the book gives reasons why Frank Cashen decided to break up a successful team. Even now, he seems to finds some self worth because he was a great player, not because he was a decent person, he didn't try to be. Darryl became violent with his own wives, as his father had, and that stops me from liking him but I never stop rotting for him. He went in and out of rehab, more times than you can count, and you wonder how seriously he took it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Darryl Strawberry on Sean Hannity and that interview led me to purchase Finding My Way. I was not disappointed and thus the 5 star review for this compelling redemption tale. One other reviewer states the last chapter of this man's life is yet to be written, and that is certainly true. But at this juncture, I believe Mr. Strawberry has gone a long way towards meeting his stated goal in telling his story - that it might inspire others to break out of self destructive lifestyle patterns and turn their lives around.
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Format: Hardcover
I remember the great athletic ability of Darryl Strawberry; the man who once hit a titanic home run at old Busch Stadium in 1985, that banged off the Longines clock way out in right field. He was truly "the man".

I also remember the forlorn look on his face during the 1986 World Series when the taunting Boston fans were chanting, in unison, the derisive, "Dar-ryl"; repeatedly. Clearly, this man was still in many ways, a vulnerable young man; almost a boy. I felt sorry for the kid, and wasn't overly displeased when the Mets went on to win that World Series. Being from St Louis, I really disliked the Mets, ever since Keith Hernandez went over there, mid-way through the dismal '83 season.

Still, the Cards-Mets rivalry in the mid '80s was an enjoyable episode for fans in both New York & St Louis. Strawberry, a very talented slugger, seemed to have everything going for him as he cruised through the decade.

The dangerous combination of money, "rock star" fame, a troubled childhood with an abusive father, and a permissive society, made it all too easy for Strawberry to escape into the abyss of drugs and alcohol. Like his father, he became an abusive and forlorn husband; his slide deeper into the abyss left him on the outside of baseball's glamorous world; suddenly an outcast. This only perpetuated the situation.

Has Darryl Strawberry really "found his way", or is that just a convenient way of pretending everything's okay now? Has the "finding my way" slogan just been conjured up to sell books; has he really found redemption in God, or is that just another folly in the saga of Straw's checkered history of alcohol & drug abuse?
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Format: Hardcover
Not being a baseball fan, I wondered if I could enjoy this book. But not only did I learn a lot about the world of baseball, but also learned a lot about a man who makes no excuses. He gives reasons for doing the things he did, but doesn't make excuses. Well-written, thought-provoking, and in an age where we Christians can sometimes come across as holier-than-thou, a refreshing look at someone who doesn't claim perfection, but is simply trying to take one day at a time by the grace of God. It took him a long time to turn his life around, but at least he did it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not only a girl, but I'm not really a sports fan. I enjoy going to sporting events but don't ever go to professional events because of where I live and the cost, and I don't watch sports in TV, however, I have heard of Darryl Strawberry and I saw an interview with Jim on some TV show which made me want to read his book.

I was impressed with the way he took responsibilities for his actions. I'm sure at times he blamed his father for making him the way he was, but he manned up and moved forward.

Great book! Even for a non-sports lover. It seems he has his stuff together now and has bear his addictions. Keep it up!!!!!
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