Did anyone see this?
Growing up, he was always my favorite player. Oh, hell, I'll start at the beginning.
When I was about 7 (1984), my father and I were in a fight. I enjoyed playing baseball, but didn't follow the game too much. Without a team up at Coors for another decade, I just wasn't invested. But while my father and I were fighting, I sat down to watch a game with him: Giants v. Mets. He is a huge Giants fan so I began rooting for the Mets. He told me that I was just doing it to make him mad. I told him that I was a die-hard Mets fan. He told me that I should hate the Mets, and held up Darryl as an example why. I won't get into his reasons, but I adopted Straw as my favorite then and there.
About 5 years later, we took a trip up to NYC. I got separated from my family and started talking to a cop. He was a huge Mets fan, as was I. He sat and talked to me about the Mets while we waited for my family to show back up. They did show up, and he invited us to see a game that night with him. He had some great season tickets, and got us in before the game. We got to walk around on the field and meet players (I distinctly remember thinking about how fat Tony Gwynn was). I met Frank Cashen (I think. The GM didn't mean much to me then, but I know I got to meet the GM.) and a few others. Then I got to meet Strawberry, who I complimented on being very tall. He let me try on his Jersey, which was enormous. Helluva nice guy. Gave me some bats and the like.
Finally, I got to watch a good portion of the game from the groundskeeper's tunnel, which is (if memory serves) directly behind home on field level. I'm still shocked at how fast those pitches came in.
So, at least from one Mets fan, Welcome back Straw. Thanks for everything.