"They've got the Stewart face," he says of his sons. "They're gonna be big boys, and they love to play ball."

Stewart knows life is no fairy tale. He can't cry "happily after ever" and call that the end of his story. The addict lurks within him, looking for any sliver of room to escape. Stewart works daily to make sure there's no such opportunity. Sometimes, he'll get a call from a prison acquaintance: "I'm out, and we're going to be partying tonight at the South Rock Grill."

"You hear that word partying, and you have to back away," he says. "You just say, 'Fellas, I got something else to do.' You have to take that trigger right out of your hand."

Stewart prefers not even to watch a film with dark scenes related to drugs.

"I like for it to stay bright," he says. "When you're in drug addiction, you close your curtains, you duct-tape your windows because you're paranoid about people seeing you. I'm away from all that. My windows are open. People can knock on my door, call me on the phone and I'll get back with you. I'm not dying now."

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Samuel Lee Stewart

Born: Oct. 28, 1954 in Asheville, N.C.

Signed: By Orioles as an amateur free agent in 1975

Major League Debut: Sept. 1, 1978 vs. Chicago White Sox

Career Highlights: Struck out 7 straight batters in debut, pitched 5 scoreless innings in 1983 World Series

Traded: To Boston Red Sox after 1985 season

Retired: After 1987 season

Incarcerated: In North Carolina for 6 years, 8 months on drug possession charges

Released: Jan. 11; lives in Hendersonville, N.C