Former Major League Baseball All-Star Darryl Strawberry -- whose legendary play on the field was coupled with a well-chronicled battle with illegal drug addiction and legal problems in his personal life -- said he is no longer the man he was before, and that his top priority is leading people to Jesus Christ. He is now an ordained minister leading a wide-ranging ministry -- including Christian-based recovery programs -- the Christian Post website reports today (July 12, 2013).
"I'm over 'Strawberry,'" he told "USA Today" in his first interview with the media since becoming a preacher and ministry leader three years ago. "I'm over Mets. I'm over Yankees. I don't want to exist as Darryl Strawberry, the baseball player."
Strawberry -- who played for the New York Mets and New York Yankees during a 17-year career that included four World Series championship rings -- leads a ministry along with his wife, Tracy, devoted to helping people "who are suffering and in bondage to afflictions that are destroying their lives and relationships."
Strawberry -- whose ministry is located 30 miles from St. Louis in St. Peters, Missouri -- reiterated that baseball was not important to him anymore. "I love the game, don't get me wrong, but I love the Bible more. I want to help people save their lives, and have the responsibility of leading people into following Christ," he said. "It's so hard to describe what that feels like, but I've never been happier in my life. It's so much fun being a pastor."