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Comeback skid

Yanks' Strawberry arrested on cocaine, solicitation charges

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Posted: Thursday April 15, 1999 02:28 PM

  Darryl Strawberry's arrest came while he was in Tampa rehabbing from colon cancer surgery. AP

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 Chronology
Jan. 29, 1987 -- Strawberry's wife, Lisa, files a petition for legal separation in Los Angeles Superior County Court.
April 7, 1989 -- Named in a lawsuit in Clayton, Mo., charging that he fathered a son with Lisa Clayton.
May 18, 1989 -- Wife files divorce petition in Los Angeles.
Jan. 24, 1990 -- Blood tests establish Strawberry as father of Clayton's child.
Jan. 26, 1990 -- Arrested for alleged assault with a deadly weapon during an argument with his wife.
Feb. 3, 1990 -- Enters Smithers Center for alcohol rehabilitation.
March 9, 1990 -- Los Angeles city attorneys announce no charges will be filed.
Sept. 4, 1993 -- Arrested for allegedly striking Charisse Simons, the 26-year-old woman he lived with.
Sept. 21, 1993 -- No criminal charges are filed by Simons after the Sept. 4 incident.
March 3, 1994 -- Investigated by the IRS and U.S. Attorney's Office for allegedly failing to file tax returns for in excess of $300,000 of income derived from autograph and memorabilia shows.
April 3, 1994 -- Failed to show up for the Dodgers' final exhibition game against California at Anaheim Stadium, and not located until that night.
April 4, 1994 -- Dodgers announce Strawberry has a substance abuse problem and place him on the disabled list.
April 8, 1994 -- Enters Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
May 6, 1994 -- Finishes his 28-day stay at Betty Ford.
Dec. 8, 1994 -- He and his agent Eric Goldschmidt were indicted on federal tax evasion charges alleging that Strawberry failed to report more than $500,000 in income earned from 1986 through 1990.
Dec. 18, 1994 -- Strawberry and Goldschmidt plead innocent to tax evasion.
Feb. 6, 1995 -- Major league baseball suspends Strawberry for 60 days after he tested positive for cocaine. The Giants release him.
April 24, 1995 -- Strawberry is ordered to repay $350,000 in back taxes and sentenced to six months of home confinement.
June 19, 1995 -- New York Yankees announce they have reached an agreement with Strawberry.
Aug. 4, 1995 -- Yankees purchase his contract from Columbus of the International League.
Dec. 2, 1995 -- Yankees do not exercise option, making Strawberry free agent.
Dec. 11, 1995 -- Strawberry is charged in California with failing to make child support payments.
May 3, 1996 -- Strawberry signs with the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League.
June 24, 1996 -- Los Angeles Municipal Court Comissioner sets a July 5 trial date for Strawberry, accused of failing to pay $300,000 to his ex-wife Lisa by a June 24 deadline.
July 4, 1996 -- Yankees purchase his contract from St. Paul and assign him to Columbus.
July 5, 1996 -- Strawberry tells court he will will use his $260,000 signing bonus as partial payment of support owed his ex-wife and children.
July 7, 1996 -- Strawberry promoted to Yankees.
June 25, 1997 -- Undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Aug. 15, 1997 -- Activated by Yankees.
Jan. 9, 1998 -- Re-signs one-year deal with Yankees for $750,000.
Aug. 20, 1998 -- Sued by attorney Robert Shapiro for $100,000 plus interest in fees for a contract settlement Shapiro negotiated with the Dodgers in 1994.
Oct. 1, 1998 -- Diagnosed with colon cancer.
Oct. 3, 1998 -- Undergoes surgery to have a 16-inch portion of his large intestine removed to get rid of a tumor. .
Oct. 9, 1998 -- Doctors announce that Strawberry will have to undergo chemotherapy after it was found that the cancer had spread to a lymph node.
Oct. 16, 1998 -- Released from the hospital.
Oct. 23, 1998 -- Joins his teammates in the victory parade to celebrate the Yankees world championship.
Jan. 9, 1999 -- Has surgery to relieve pain caused by scar tissue from his operation for colon cancer.
Feb. 9, 1999 -- Makes debut as spokesman for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, saying he is optimistic about his future.
Feb. 15, 1999 -- Angers owner George Steinbrenner by missing an autograph session. Strawberry apologized for his absence a day later.
March 10, 1999 -- Strawberry, still undergoing chemotherapy, goes 1-for-4 in an exhibition game, his first appearance in a game since colon cancer surgery.
March 25, 1999 -- Strawberry and attorney Robert Shapiro resolve their legal dispute.
March 29, 1999 -- Yankees announce that Strawberry will remain at extended spring training instead of joining the club on the opening-day roster.

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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