The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

#261: Darryl Strawberry – MLB Superstar: World Series, Home Runs, & Substance Abuse

Darryl Strawberry helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series championship and the New York Yankees to three World Series championships.  He was also suspended three times by Major League Baseball for substance abuse.  He was a nine time all star and he hit 335 home runs during his illustrious career.

He is an ordained minister, speaker, and author.  He is taking his message to the masses with his new book, Don’t Give Up On Me — Shedding Light on Addiction.

The Learning Leader Show

“My Dad beat the crap out of me.  He told me I would never amount to anything. I believed him.” — Darryl Strawberry

Show Notes:

  • Sustaining excellence:
    • A calming presence… Confidence in what you know
    • Time spent learning to lead
    • Davey Johnson and Joe Torre — A measured, confident approach to understanding each individual and how they needed to be managed
  • Best teammates?
    • Gary Carter
    • Keith Hernandez
    • Lead by example type people… Those who are consistently doing the work every single day
    • They understand how to prepare and do not get distracted from the work
  • Darryl struggled to be consistent because of his wondering focus
  • How to bounce out of a slump?
    • “When you’re 2 for 30, how do you get yourself out of a jam?  Go to the batting cage and do the work.”
  • What was the key to winning the World Series in 1986?
    • “A complete team effort.  We were a WHOLE team. Complete.  Every guy did their part.”
  • Why did Darryl use drugs?
    • “An emptiness. I’ve never been well on the inside.  Pain led me to greatness, but was also the cause for drug use.”
    • “My dad beat the crap out of me. He told me I would never be anything and I believed him.”
  • Why are so many world class athletes insecure?
    • “They are yearning for love and do not always get it. I never had a good Dad.  I had to learn lessons on my own.  Nobody taught me.”
  • Advice to young people who do not have a Dad?
    • “Listen to your mom.  I wish I would have.  Take her direction.  Allow mentors to help you.  Allow people to power into your life.  It was hard for me to trust people.”
  • Being a dad to successful athletes — (His sons are professional basketball players and his daughters are scholarship volleyball players)
    • “I did not coach them, but I encourage them continually work to get better. I didn’t push them to play baseball.”
  • The Doc and Darryl 30 For 30
    • “I love Doc.  We are still good friends.  We’ve been through a lot.”
  • Why write Don’t Give Up On Me?
    • “There are so many problems in the world.  Addiction is everywhere.  I want to help people.  I was great, but broken at the same time.”
  • A defining moment?
    • His wife said, “If you’re ever going to get well, you have to take that uniform off.”  Had to stop identifying as a baseball player
  • “You must take responsibility for your actions”
  • “You need people in your inner circle who will be honest with you and tell you no.”
  • Day to day work: Pastor, travel, bring hope to those who are struggling”
  • Would you ever work in baseball again?
    • “No… Unless Derek Jeter called and asked me to help his team.”
  • Toughest pitcher ever faced?
    • Nolan Ryan
  • Why were you a great hitter?
    • Preparation… On deck circle.  Always getting ready
    • “Focus on hitting line drives to the opposite field.  That’s how you know you’re on it” — Keith Hernandez was very helpful
  • “It’s about people.  I should have been dead, had cancer twice, chased women, drug issues.  I have urgency everyday.”

“It’s about people. I should have been dead.  I had cancer twice, chased women, had drug issues.  I have urgency everyday.”

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More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 234: Jocko Willink — Why Discipline Equals Freedom

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