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Yanks' Strawberry arrested on cocaine, solicitation charges
Posted: Thursday April 15, 1999 02:28 PM
TAMPA, Fla. (CNN/SI) -- Just six months after undergoing colon cancer treatment, the career of Darryl Strawberry took another disastrous turn Wednesday night when the New York Yankees outfielder was arrested on charges of cocaine possession and solicitation for prostitution.
The New York Yankees outfielder, in a gold-colored 1999 Ford Explorer, solicited an undercover officer for sex for $50, a spokesman for the Tampa Police department said after Wednesday night's arrest about three miles from the team's training complex.
Upon being searched by two police officers at 10:10 p.m. ET, 0.3 grams of powder cocaine was found wrapped inside a $20 bill inside of his wallet, police said.
After being booked at the Hillsborough County Jail, he was released on $6,000 bond shortly after 1 a.m. ET Thursday.
"The Yankees have learned that Darryl Strawberry has been arrested Wednesday night in Tampa," team spokesman Rick Cerrone told SportsTicker. "We are in the process of acquiring the facts and obviously must let all the legal processes take their course before making any comment."
Strawberry, 37, an eight-time All-Star, has been in Tampa at the Yankees' extended spring training camp while he works back into shape following colon cancer surgery last Oct. 3.
He was in New York last weekend to receive his World Series ring, then returned to Tampa. He was not expected to rejoin the Yankees until next month, after a stint with Columbus of the Class AAA International League. The Yankees did not want him to join Columbus until after he completed chemotherapy.
After the Yankees won the World Series without him, New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani praised Strawberry "for the comeback he's made as a baseball player and the comeback he's making in life."
Strawberry's list of substance abuse problems is lengthy.
Major League Baseball suspended him for 60 days in 1995 after he tested positive for cocaine. The previous year, he entered the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and spent four weeks undergoing treatment of a substance abuse problem. In 1990, he entered the Smithers Center in New York for alcohol rehabilitation.
In addition to substance abuse, Strawberry also ran afoul of tax laws. In April 1995, a federal court ordered him to repay $350,000 in back taxes and sentenced him to six months of home confinement. But the order allowed him to leave home for practice and games, and to travel to road games.
Strawberry, who came to prominence with the New York Mets in the early 1980s and won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1983, also has had off-and-on problems in Los Angeles, where he was accused of failing to make timely payments to his ex-wife Lisa.
He rebounded after signing with the Yankees in June 1995 and had remained drug free, with regular testing by major league baseball. Strawberry had his best season in seven years in 1998, hitting .247 with 24 home runs and 57 RBIs in 295 at-bats.
The Yankees, because of complicated rules involving baseball's luxury tax, shifted him to a minor league roster during the offseason, fearing he would not be healthy enough to play by opening day.
Strawberry, the No. 1 pick in baseball's June 1980 amateur draft, joined with Dwight Gooden to help lead the Mets to the 1986 World Series title. Gooden also has had cocaine problems and currently is with the Cleveland Indians.
Strawberry has a .250 career average with 332 homers and 994 RBIs in 16 major league seasons with the Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and Yankees. He led the NL with 39 homers in 1988 and topped 100 RBIs three times with the Mets from 1987-90.
The Associated Press and Ticker contributed to this report
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