Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Book review - Straw.

Straw is Darryl Strawberry's autobiography. The book runs 237 pages and was published in 2009. The copy that I recently read is the hardback version.

The book starts with Darryl's drunken father threatening his family with a shotgun. Unknown to the Strawberrys at the time the gun was not loaded. Darryl would deal with plenty of other loaded situations in his life though before the subtitle of Finding My Way would be applicable. Several of those situations would result in far greater injuries than he feared from his father that terrible night.

From early childhood through retirement from baseball it is interesting to see the development of Darryl's struggles and the man he has become today. Interesting but heartbreaking at times. Straw has little to nothing positive to say about his alcoholic father who left the family on the night detailed at the start of the book. The lack of a father's influence laid a tragic foundation. Through drug, alcohol, and sex addictions, domestic violence, suspensions from Major League Baseball, injuries, and three marriages the rocky path goes.

I remember Darryl being a huge splash with the Mets in the eighties. I remember his failings and less than stellar reputation. I knew the what, I didn't know the why. The rough and tumble background of the man. I didn't know the end of the story. The faith and rehab that helped him get his life back on track. His founding and work with the Darryl Strawberry Foundation to address the problem of autism.

Darryl's come a long way and the trail is an eye-opening one. While I found the explanation of Darryl's faith to be a little confusing I would still recommend that anyone who is a Mets or Darryl Strawberry fan read Straw: Finding My Way.

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