WARR ACRES — Tracy Strawberry was unaware of Darryl Strawberry's celebrity status when they met at a Narcotics Anonymous convention.
To her, they were both addicts looking to recover. But even today, she still says he never really talks baseball.
“I've always loved the person, not the player,” Tracy Strawberry said. “And he's always loved the fact that I love the person, not the player.”
That, along with Darryl Strawberry's faith, aided his redemption.
In their 10th year traveling as ordained ministers, the couple shared their stories at six different services for Victory Church in Edmond, Warr Acres and Norman on Sunday.
“This is a calling,” Darryl Strawberry said following his fifth service of the day. “Baseball was not a calling; baseball was a gift, playing basketball is a gift, playing football is a gift, playing golf is a gift.
“A calling from God is totally different because now you have the responsibility of going out and being led by the spirit of God to impact people's lives that are struggling.”
Strawberry's troubles have been well documented. He went from a Major League Baseball superstar to drug addiction, prison and two battles with colon cancer.
And Sunday he told those in attendance how he hit his low points and how he is now at his high point.
Strawberry spoke of how he was first introduced to cocaine on his first major league road trip with the New York Mets, saying, “I wanted to fit in. That's just the reality of it.”
He then spoke of the impact Tracy has had on him. She moved him from Florida to Missouri, despite him being hesitant. Eventually, she forced him to shape up.
“It was a place in my life where I had to come and deal with God,” Strawberry said. “I came to that defining moment with God and I said, ‘I am sorry, God.'”
But once the service ended, it quickly became apparent that Strawberry still serves as a baseball great with a meet-and-greet with fans.
“What I do think is so magnificent is how gracious are his fans,” Tracy Strawberry said. “Just the excitement, even little children, and how people flock around him.
“He just considers it an honor. He's like they've been through so much with me and I want to give back to them, so it's pretty amazing to see in the platform that God has given him.”