If you don’t know your baseball history, you should know that Darryl Strawberry was one of the most feared home-run hitters in the sport during the 1980s and into the early ’90s. While today’s behemoths like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton would make him look willowy now, his 6’6” frame and powerful stride made him an intimidating presence and a threat to hit one out at any time. He led the New York Mets to their World Series win in 1986 and picked up three more rings a decade later as a dangerous bat off the bench for the Yankees, but his career was pockmarked by addictions and run-ins with the law.
He helps give the title to The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Rebecca Gilman’s play that is actually about a 38-year-old successful artist who attempts suicide after her latest exhibition bombs with the critics and the public. With her health insurance about to run out, she fakes psychosis to stay in her mental hospital and takes on the persona of the legendary slugger, despite knowing little about him or the sport. (A couple of fellow inmates who know their sports are happy to help out her deception.) This comedy about the commodification of everything, including art and baseball, opens this week at Theatre Arlington.
The Sweetest Swing in Baseball runs Aug 10-26 at Theatre Arlington, 305 W Main St, Arlington. Tickets are $21-23. Call 817-275-7661.