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Darryl Strawberry apologizes to fans as Mets retire his No. 18



The New York Mets honored former player Darryl Strawberry by retiring his No. 18 in a ceremony at Citi Field. Strawberry apologized to fans for leaving the team 34 years ago and shared his gratitude for the love and support. The emotional moment was marked by tributes, including transforming the home run apple into a home run strawberry and playing the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Despite facing health challenges, including a recent heart attack that left his heart functioning at only 32%, Strawberry was grateful to be able to attend the ceremony. He credited his wife Tracy for saving his life by taking him to the hospital and ensuring he received the care he needed. Strawberry reflected on his career and the impact of his struggles with alcohol and drugs on his professional and personal life.

During his time with the Mets from 1983-1990, Strawberry was an eight-time All-Star and had impressive stats. However, his departure from the team led to a decline in his playing career as he moved between several teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and New York Yankees. He acknowledged that his choices and behavior in his younger days may have cost him a greater legacy in baseball.

Steve Cohen, the Mets owner, has been keen on highlighting the team’s history and recognizing the contributions of former players. Alongside Dwight Gooden, Strawberry’s longtime friend and former teammate whose number was also retired, the event was a reminder of the team’s past glory and iconic players. Cohen hinted at future retirements, including David Wright’s No. 5, to honor the team’s history and provide hope for the future.

Despite his struggles and regrets, Strawberry expressed gratitude for the challenges he faced as they shaped him into the man he is today. Growing up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father, Strawberry overcame obstacles to find success in his personal and professional life. He acknowledged that his past experiences, both positive and negative, helped him grow and strive to be a better person than his father had been. Strawberry’s journey from a troubled past to a respected figure in the baseball community serves as a testament to resilience and personal growth.

In conclusion, Darryl Strawberry’s number retirement ceremony at Citi Field was a poignant moment that allowed him to reflect on his past while expressing gratitude for the support and opportunities he received. Despite his struggles and regrets, Strawberry’s journey from a troubled upbringing to a revered baseball player showcases the power of resilience and personal growth. As the Mets continue to honor their past and celebrate former players, the event served as a reminder of the team’s rich history and the enduring impact of individuals like Darryl Strawberry on the organization and its fans.

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