Darryl Strawberry said he regrets leaving New York for the Dodgers because the fans in Los Angeles couldn’t match the passion of the Big Apple.
Los Angeles native Darryl Strawberry‘s time with the Dodgers was forgettable in more ways than one. After signing a five-year, $20.25 million contract to leave New York and return home to play for the Dodgers, the superstar outfielder only shined for one season in Chavez Ravine, before injuries and substance abuse unraveled his playing career, forcing his premature release not even three full seasons into his lucrative contract.
In a recent interview with SNY, Strawberry said he regrets leaving the Mets, particularly because the fans in Los Angeles couldn’t match the intensity he was used to experiencing in New York.
“The fans are so different in New York than going to LA,” Strawberry said. “LA fans, they come late and leave early. New York fans come early, and never leave. That was the good thing about playing [in New York], they would wait until the end of the game, if you win or lose. And I was used to that.”
Strawberry had grown up in the Mets organization, a skinny kid with a sweet swing, leading the franchise to their first championship in 17 years when he helped them beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series.
But when the Mets balked at re-signing him as a free agent, he split for Los Angeles. A move he says he regrets.
“It was heartbreaking leaving the Mets,” Strawberry said. “That was the biggest mistake I really ever made in my career was leaving New York to go play in LA.”
The eight-time All-Star had his best seasons in New York where he hit 252 home runs and saw his likeness projected on skyscrapers across the city. After developing a relationship with the New York fans, everything changed when he signed with the Dodgers.
“It was different when I went to California because it was kind of laid back,” Strawberry said. “Nothing against the Dodger fans or nothing against the LA fans, they were just a little more laid back. I was more used to the restless fans and playing in New York City.”
We can give Strawberry a pass for stating his admiration for Mets fans on the regional sports network owned by the Mets. But after ranking first in attendance for seven of the past eight seasons, Dodger fans don’t want to hear about their lack of passion for their favorite baseball team.
In his three seasons in Los Angeles, Strawberry hit 38 home runs, 28 of which came in his debut campaign, and he batted .255, playing in only 75 games over his final two seasons with the Dodgers.