Mike Jackson was a relief pitcher for four pro teams. Addiction left him homeless. Now he helps others get sober as a Straight and Narrow counselor.
Michael Jackson of Paterson was once a major league relief pitcher who intimidated batters and awed fans with his powerful left-handed delivery. During a four-year career in the early 1970s he wore the uniform of the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians.
But Jackson’s toughest opponent was off the baseball diamond. His nearly 15-year addiction to drugs and alcohol would eventually cost him his job in baseball and leave him jobless, homeless, and in and out of jail.
Today, the 76-year-old has been clean since 1986 and helps others get sober through his work as a counselor at Straight and Narrow, a substance abuse treatment facility operated by the Catholic Diocese of Paterson.
Jackson is part of the clinical service team which provides individual and group therapy sessions for the men’s long-term treatment program. He’s a living, breathing example to those in treatment that there can be life after addiction.
Source: Paterson pitcher turned pro, then lost his career to addiction. Faith helped him recover