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Background and early career

Strawberry was born to Henry and Ruby Strawberry in Los Angeles, California. He played high school baseball for the Crenshaw High School Cougars along with Chris Brown. Strawberry was drafted first overall in the 1980 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets. Darryl's older brother Michael Strawberry was also selected in that draft; going to the Dodgers in the 31st round. Employing a distinctive batting stance with a high leg kick, Strawberry rose through the Mets system and reached the major league level in 1983, posting 26 home runs, 7 triples, and 74 runs batted in, while hitting for a .257 average. He was named the National League's Rookie of The Year. In 1984, he made it to the All-Star game for the first of eight consecutive appearances (the first five as a starter) and once again hit 26 home runs, this time driving in 97.

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