The Diamond Hoggers Hall of Fame. For election into this distinct club, you must do something on or off the field extraordinary; as deemed by our strict board of advisers. Every year in January we will induct two new members. However new can be inducted at large during the course of the year for an extraordinary event or circumstance (see Dunn, Dykstra). The members do not have to be arbitrary. They in fact can be an event. A place. A baseball bat. Anything. While only players have been selected so far, it remains to be seen what crosses through the doors at the Diamond Hoggers Hall of Fame.
Today we enshrine our 2nd member of the day, Darryl Strawberry.
He was our first favorite baseball player–that gets him in almost unanimously. He was the black Ted Williams. He was tall, lanky, and possessed one of the most beautiful and powerful swings we’ve ever seen to this day. He could run like the wind blew and hit home runs that would go out of Yosemite. His story is a sad ballad, but one that also leaves us wondering what could have been and what we might of seen. The ultimate ‘what if’.
Then the hardcore partying and cocaine happened. When this occurred it probably ended any real chance of Darryl making Cooperstown. But it didn’t end his chances of being in the DH HOF.
Now the thing with Strawberry. With all his power and talents, he never eclipsed 40 home runs. Shea was never a bandbox, but Darryl no doubt burnt the candle on both ends and he was only able to reach about half of what his career statistics should have been, we approximate. When Strawberry could drag himself out on the field over 150 games (he only did this 3 times in his career) he put up huge numbers. It’s probably not just an assumption to say Darryl missed a countless number of games with a case of the 3 am flu. Like, our first baseball game. We showed up there with our parents and cried our eyes out because Darryl wasn’t in the lineup. He probably showed up that morning after an all-night coke binge and just told the skipper he couldn’t go. How many times over the course of his career do you figure he either didn’t play at all or played at half strength? His body running on nothing but Cranberry & Vodka’s and smelling of stripper perfume.
So one might be asking themselves: why is this guy worthy of any Hall of Fame? Well, because when you take a step back and still recognize what The Straw accomplished, it is a marvel in itself. I think that shows how talented someone really was. Besides the fact that when we discovered the great game that was baseball; Strawberry was there.
And so he lives on in eternity. In the annals of the Diamond Hoggers Hall of Fame with the other Ghosts and Legends of the games past that are burned and echoed into eternity.