“It was a very therapeutic book for me to write,” Huff said about the process. “I was reliving some of my anxieties and depression, and as I wrote I found out a lot about me that I had never known before.” Plus, he joked: “It was way cheaper than a shrink.”
The result of those therapeutic efforts is “Baseball Junkie,” a book that encapsulates Huff’s life, in raw and honest terms, throughout its rollercoaster of 268 pages. Huff, who talks about the murder of his father early in his life, to his recent new-found Christian faith, put his ups and downs on full display with the help of co-author Stephen Cassar, whom Huff says turned into a “lifelong friend.”
“I think the biggest thing I want people to take away is that no matter how much you succeed, no matter how much money or material things you acquire, it will never bring you happiness,” says Huff. “‘Baseball Junkie’ is exactly what it sounds like: a Major League baseball player’s battle with drug addiction while playing. It’s also a story of my crippling anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. At the very heart of this book, though, is my redemptive faith in Jesus Christ, and his mercy to help in the darkest of times.”
Huff has been no stranger to dark times throughout his life, however charmed. In his long career in the Major Leagues, he’s played for a variety of teams, from the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, to the Houston Astros. However, his association with the Giants is how fans know him best, helping the team score World Series rings in both 2010 and 2012, marking their first victories in over a half century. Huff also became known for lighthearted hijinks around the clubhouse, most famously with his red, jewel-encrusted “lucky” thong he started wearing leading up to the Giants’ 2010 victory, later dubbed by the fans and media a “rally thong.”
Despite all of his accomplishments and accolades, plus his marriage and two sons, Huff still wasn’t fulfilled. “Even after all that I wanted to end my life,” he notes. “I am living proof that material wealth and things of this world will never make you happy. There has to be something greater for you to live for. For me it is my new-found faith in Christ, and my family.”
Funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, “Baseball Junkie” marks the latest phase of Huff’s life. It’s a happy one at that finds him still living in Del Mar. “We moved here immediately after I retired in 2012,” Huff said. “It was a move that made little sense. We had no extended family here and I’m a Texas boy at heart, but I have really grown to love Del Mar very much. My wife and I have absolutely fallen in love with our church where we’ve grown in our faith and our marriage. And as an added bonus, I get to coach both my boys’ little league teams.”
Adds Huff: “Life has never been better for me than it is right now.”
“Baseball Junkie” can be found on Amazon.com.