Kurt Varricchio is a professional baseball agent, representing such clients as Kramer Robertson of the St. Louis Cardinals, Carlos Torres of the Washington Nationals and Grant Dayton of the Atlanta Braves.
But Varricchio describes a much more troubled past — including details of juvenile detention, child abuse and nearly becoming a victim of murder — in his new book, “Behind in the Count: My Journey From Juvenile Delinquent to Baseball Agent.”
“It was a desire to survive when I was younger," Varricchio told InsideEdition.com. "It was perseverance. There were moments I look and go, ‘How did I get out of that?’”
His dad died when he was only 22 months old, and Varricchio said his single mother was left to take care of four highly active boys.
“For me, growing up without a father, it was difficult,” he said.
Varricchio said he took to the streets often, disappearing for days at a time and stealing what he could to survive. He recalled being only 8 years old when he broke into his first car, later moving on to homes, where he would scavenge for cash.
“You wake up every day and go, 'I need to figure out how to survive,'" he explained. “What am I going to eat? How [will I] stay out of harm’s way? Where am I going to sleep tonight? It was all about finding a place to stay and finding food, and to buy food, I needed money."
He said he first realized he needed to straighten out his life on one particular Fourth of July holiday as a child, when he was forced to watch fireworks from a juvenile detention center following one of his many arrests.
“I was watching it through my window and I didn’t hear any of the booms and music,” Varricchio explained. “I just saw the flashes in the distance and said, ‘It stinks. I am in here and the world is going on without me. I need to make a change. I need to figure out how I am going to turn this around.’”
Varricchio entered the foster care system when he was 11 years old. He credits his foster parents for saving his life.
“My foster father really filled a gaping hole and kept me on the right path," he explained. "They were both teachers. They pushed education. When I started having success [I] started getting recognized for something positive."
They saw him as something more than a juvenile delinquent and set him on a road to success that helped him land his first internship with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs before landing within the ranks of Major League Baseball.
But Varricchio, now a dad of two sons, says fatherhood is the best job he has ever held, thanking his wife and her values for giving their kids a healthy upbringing.