The interesting story of former Twins pitcher Dan Naulty, who went from throwing in the mid-80s to the mid-90s with the help of steroids, is featured in the current edition of Sports Illustrated. The lengthy piece, by Tom Verducci, takes you back to 1994, when Naulty was one in a group of young pitchers with the Twins' Class A team at Fort Myers and playing for manager Scott Liddle.
In the story, Liddle remembers Naulty this way: "He started out a tall, lanky kid that was mainly just skin and bones. He threw a ball that had a lot of movement. But he was a fringe player at best -- and that was on a good day."
Today, Naulty is a pastor at The Rock Community Church in southern California, after a life's journey that helps to explain the impact of the steroid era on baseball. Without giving away all that happens, or making a shallow attempt to explain something that needs more depth, here's part of the introduction to Verducci's story: "This is a story about the hundreds, even thousands, of anonymous ballplayers whose careers and lives were changed by a temptation that defined an era. It is also a story about the secrets we keep and the casualties we create when we allow the corrupt to go unspoken -- especially when the corrupt is something far more horrific than steroids."
Naulty, 42, pitched for the Twins from 1996 to 1998, and then was with the New York Yankees when they won the 1999 World Series. In New York, he pitched mostly in a mop-up role, but he has the same ring as Mariano Rivera, Roger Clemens and the others on that team.
That was also his last season in the majors.
Verducci writes: "Naulty sold the Corvette. He never wears his World Series ring -- he rarely even takes it out of the safe where it is stored. The major league money? Gone. It went to pay for years of therapy and counseling. 'It's a funny thing,' he says. 'I thought I was going to be a millionaire playing baseball, and I ended up using all the money to try to heal myself.' "
You can read Verducci's entire story here.
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