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Straw: Finding My Way Hardcover – May 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 34 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The final chapter of this book is not yet written 30 April 2009
By Barry Pearl - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting, sometimes compelling and mostly easy to read book about Darryl Strawberry his life, and that era of baseball although, in many ways though this is a very hard book to review. Darryl is not an unlikable person' In fact you root for him. But he is not a good person and you have to take on faith that he has changed.
The book starts off with a horrific scene with Darryl's father holding a gun on the family and his brother holding a knife trying to get their violent father out of the house. The effects of having a violent rule parent are prominently displayed throughout the book.
Darryl explains how and why that he was drawn to drugs and drinking. How he cheated on his wives, broke the law, found drugs and was very irresponsible.
Darryl does explain the atmosphere of major league baseball on the mid-80s with girls, alcohol and drugs all over the place. Many times he describes coming to the field with a huge hangover and taking handfuls of amphetamines to get through the game. Darryl saw all of baseball like this. I don't know if it was or if that is just how Darryl saw it. It was interesting to read about the attitude of the Mets of that era, especially David Come and Keith Hernandez. Davey Johnson, who seemed to ignore these problems, does not come across well. But the book gives reasons why Frank Cashen decided to break up a successful team. Even now, he seems to finds some self worth because he was a great player, not because he was a decent person, he didn't try to be. Darryl became violent with his own wives, as his father had, and that stops me from liking him but I never stop rotting for him. He went in and out of rehab, more times than you can count, and you wonder how seriously he took it. He turned his back on judges and parole officers who tried to help him and one of his wives! He often sobered up for years, but could not stay sober. These stories were hard to get through sometimes. But you do hoping for a happy ending. Darryl never seeks, voluntarily, professional help and dismisses it when he is compelled to go.
One story, Darryl writes, when he was on probation he was accused of stopping the car and soliciting an undercover police woman. Darryl explains that he was innocent of the solicitation charges. He was married man, why was he stopping his car? Here's also carrying cocaine on him and was arrested for that. He spent a lot of time in jail including charges related to felony tax evasion which he does blame on other people.
Throughout the book Darryl describe relationship with God which he feels has helped them become a better person, a better husband, and sober. But this is only for the last two years, since 2006. Strawberry ends the book with great optimism, a new wife, and an opportunity to help children who really need him.
The final chapter of this book is not yet written.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Hat Tip to Straw !!! 4 May 2009
By CAS - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw Darryl Strawberry on Sean Hannity and that interview led me to purchase Finding My Way. I was not disappointed and thus the 5 star review for this compelling redemption tale. One other reviewer states the last chapter of this man's life is yet to be written, and that is certainly true. But at this juncture, I believe Mr. Strawberry has gone a long way towards meeting his stated goal in telling his story - that it might inspire others to break out of self destructive lifestyle patterns and turn their lives around.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An Issue of Credibility 8 Oct. 2009
By Larry Underwood - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I remember the great athletic ability of Darryl Strawberry; the man who once hit a titanic home run at old Busch Stadium in 1985, that banged off the Longines clock way out in right field. He was truly "the man".

I also remember the forlorn look on his face during the 1986 World Series when the taunting Boston fans were chanting, in unison, the derisive, "Dar-ryl"; repeatedly. Clearly, this man was still in many ways, a vulnerable young man; almost a boy. I felt sorry for the kid, and wasn't overly displeased when the Mets went on to win that World Series. Being from St Louis, I really disliked the Mets, ever since Keith Hernandez went over there, mid-way through the dismal '83 season.

Still, the Cards-Mets rivalry in the mid '80s was an enjoyable episode for fans in both New York & St Louis. Strawberry, a very talented slugger, seemed to have everything going for him as he cruised through the decade.

The dangerous combination of money, "rock star" fame, a troubled childhood with an abusive father, and a permissive society, made it all too easy for Strawberry to escape into the abyss of drugs and alcohol. Like his father, he became an abusive and forlorn husband; his slide deeper into the abyss left him on the outside of baseball's glamorous world; suddenly an outcast. This only perpetuated the situation.

Has Darryl Strawberry really "found his way", or is that just a convenient way of pretending everything's okay now? Has the "finding my way" slogan just been conjured up to sell books; has he really found redemption in God, or is that just another folly in the saga of Straw's checkered history of alcohol & drug abuse? As a society, we tend to give people the benefit of the doubt; however, based on past performance, there's an issue of credibility for this man. I hope I'm wrong.

In the meantime, I found his story to be interesting, but not as compelling as it might have been if I didn't somehow think this was bit of a fairy tale, told by the author. I really hope he lives happily ever after. Only time will tell.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for Baseball Fans and Christians! 15 July 2009
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Not being a baseball fan, I wondered if I could enjoy this book. But not only did I learn a lot about the world of baseball, but also learned a lot about a man who makes no excuses. He gives reasons for doing the things he did, but doesn't make excuses. Well-written, thought-provoking, and in an age where we Christians can sometimes come across as holier-than-thou, a refreshing look at someone who doesn't claim perfection, but is simply trying to take one day at a time by the grace of God. It took him a long time to turn his life around, but at least he did it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Hope Straw has finally won 15 Jun. 2009
By Richard W. Hudson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First I'll admit to being a Yankees fan and loved Straw during his time with the Yanks. I also admit to having been extremely frustrated and indignant over his repeated screw-ups that often kept him off the playing field. Now I understand the man behind the image. Straw is brutally honest in this book and takes the blame for his mistakes. He seems to have found his place now and I sincerely hope that he avoids the relapses that plagued him in the past. This is not a book that focuses on his playing career in detail; instead the focus is on his trials off the field. If you enjoyed Josh Hamilton's Beyond Belief, as I did, you would do well to pick up Straw to see how a player a generation older than Hamilton battled similar demons and took much longer to defeat them. Straw, like Hamilton, comes across as a likeable individual who simply was overwhelmed by temptations.
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