Darryl Strawberry addresses MV student body

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Darryl Strawberry addresses MV student body

Brandyn Wilcoxen, Sports Editor

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Mt. Vernon Township High School is not seen as a large school. It is by far the largest school in Jefferson County by enrollment, but in an area ninety minutes east of St. Louis and a few hours south of Chicago, the school isn’t exactly a tourist destination. Due to this, when a notable person – in the sports world or otherwise – makes an appearance at MVTHS, it’s bound to be an event.

However, for 8-time MLB all-star, 4-time World Series Champion, and 1983 NL Rookie of the Year Darryl Strawberry, it’s not about the glory.

“I do it for the younger generation,” said Strawberry. “These kids are our future.”

While the New York Mets legend was available for photos and autographs, Strawberry focused his address to the student body less on his illustrious career and more on his personal struggles.

“You can choose your sins, but you can’t choose your consequences,” Strawberry proclaimed.

Strawberry himself has a storied past with substance abuse, struggling to overcome a cocaine addiction during his seventeen-year baseball career. While cocaine use was much more widespread in the 1980’s and 1990’s than in the twenty-first century, there are other dangers students must be wary of.

A few minutes into his speech, Strawberry presented a vape pen. The two-time Silver Slugger had kept it in his pocket prior to his address. Once the pen was revealed, Strawberry shifted his focus to warning students of the dangers of jumping onto trends with adverse health repercussions.

“I’ve participated in roundtables where kids say that stuff like this is cool … It’s not,” Strawberry stated, raising the vape pen high in the air.

And while his accomplishments were worthy of a New York Mets Hall of Fame induction in 2010, Strawberry is most proud of how much his quality of life has improved in the last twenty years; the 1988 National League leader in home runs 

“I was winning at baseball and now I’m winning at life,” declared Strawberry emphatically, earning an ovation from those in attendance.