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Strawberry Leaves Yankees to Participate in Crusade

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On Wednesday, three-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry resigned his post as Player Development Instructor for the New York Yankees to participate in Paula White’s Los Angeles crusade and pursue ongoing ministry opportunities with Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Fla., pastored by Randy and Paula White.

“Because of the commitments that I have made to my church, which include considerable travel, I do not feel that I can fulfill my obligations to the Yankees at this time,” Strawberry said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

“I must, therefore, leave my position as Player Development Instructor. While I truly love baseball, my focus and passion now are outreach to the community and youth evangelism.”

Strawberry has been active with Without Walls International Church since being released from prison last spring. He has become a featured speaker at both Paula White’s Date With Destiny crusades and the No Limits Youth Conferences held by the church throughout the country.

Strawberry became Player Development Instructor in November 2003 after Yankees owner George Steinbrenner offered him a chance to get back into baseball. Strawberry was released from prison in April 2003 after serving 11 months for violating probation on charges of cocaine possession.

An eight-time All-Star, Strawberry was scheduled to assist the Yankees major league team throughout spring training and then work with minor leaguers the remainder of the year. However, Strawberry found himself torn between commitments to his church and the Yankees.

“I have struggled with the decision of what to do and have decided that I cannot break my previous commitment” to Without Walls International Church, Strawberry said earlier this month.

Strawberry survived a turbulent career as a major leaguer and has battled through drug addiction and prison time, as well as a bout with stomach and colon cancer. He cites his “relationship with God” as the key to putting his troubled past behind him and the motivation for using his experiences to help young people.

Without Walls International Church began with five members in 1991 and has grown to the seventh largest church in America. The church exists to evangelize and to restore people to their fullest potential.

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