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Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra

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Leonard Kyle "Lenny" Dykstra (icon; born February 10, 1963 in Santa Ana
Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California, and with a population of 324,528 at the 2010 census, Santa Ana is the 57th-most populous city in the United States....

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

), nicknamed "Nails" and "Dude", is a former Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 center fielder
Center fielder
A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field – the baseball fielding position between left field and right field...

. Dykstra played for the New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

 during the late 1980s before playing for the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 during the early 1990s.

New York Mets


Dykstra was signed by the Mets as a 13th round draft pick in . A star in the minors
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

, in he led the Carolina League
Carolina League
The Carolina League is a minor league baseball affiliation which operates in the South Atlantic Coast of the United States. Before 2002, it was classified as a "High A" league, indicating its status as a Class A league with the highest level of competition within that classification, and the fifth...

 in at-bats, runs, hits, triples
Triple (baseball)
In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

, batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

, and stolen bases with 105, which was a league record for 17 years. That season, he batted .358 with 8 HR, 81 RBI, and 105 stolen bases while recording 107 walks against just 35 strikeouts. He was consequently named the Carolina League
Carolina League
The Carolina League is a minor league baseball affiliation which operates in the South Atlantic Coast of the United States. Before 2002, it was classified as a "High A" league, indicating its status as a Class A league with the highest level of competition within that classification, and the fifth...

's MVP. Dykstra soon emerged as one of the Mets' prized prospects, and while playing in AA in 1984, he befriended fellow outfielder and teammate Billy Beane
Billy Beane
William Lamar "Billy" Beane III is a former Major League Baseball player and the current general manager and minority owner of the Oakland Athletics...

. Beane would later say that Dykstra was "perfectly designed, emotionally" to play baseball and that he had "no concept of failure." According to Beane, his first comments upon seeing Steve Carlton
Steve Carlton
Steven Norman Carlton , nicknamed "Lefty", is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1965-1988 for six different teams in his career, but it is his time with the Philadelphia Phillies where he received his greatest acclaim as a professional and won four Cy Young Awards...

 warming up on the mound were, "Shit, I'll stick him."

In , Dykstra was deemed ready for the Major Leagues, and he was promoted to the Mets when the team's starting center fielder
Center fielder
A center fielder, abbreviated CF, is the outfielder in baseball who plays defense in center field – the baseball fielding position between left field and right field...

, Mookie Wilson
Mookie Wilson
William Hayward "Mookie" Wilson is an American former Major League Baseball center fielder and current coach for the New York Mets. He played 12 years in baseball for the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays . He was a switch hitter primarily known for his impressive speed and positive attitude...

, was forced to the disabled list. Dykstra's play and energy were a big boost to a Mets
1985 New York Mets season
The New York Mets' 1985 season was the 24th regular season for the Mets. They went 98-64 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson...

 team that surged to a 98-win season and narrowly missed out on the NL East crown. The following season, Dykstra was slated to serve as part of a center field platoon with Wilson, but when Wilson suffered a severe eye injury during spring training, Dykstra began the season as the outright starter and leadoff hitter. Later that season, the Mets would release left fielder
Left fielder
In baseball, a left fielder is an outfielder who plays defense in left field. Left field is the area of the outfield to the left of a person standing at home plate and facing towards the pitcher's mound...

 George Foster, with Wilson moving over to play left. Mets fans soon nicknamed Dykstra "Nails" for his tough-as-nails personality and fearless play. In 1986, he even removed his shirt to pose for a "beefcake" poster under the "Nails" nickname. Moreover, Dykstra and #2 hitter Wally Backman
Wally Backman
Walter Wayne Backman is a former Major League Baseball second baseman. He is best known for his time with the New York Mets from - and was a member of their 1986 World Series-winning team...

 were termed the "Wild Boys" for their scrappy play and propensity to serve as the spark plugs for a star-studded lineup.

1986 season


With Dykstra batting in the lead-off spot, the 1986 Mets
1986 New York Mets season
The 1986 New York Mets season was the Mets' 25th season in the National League. They began the season looking to equal or improve upon their 98–64 record from 1985 and to try to win the National League East Division. They finished the season with a 108–54 record, cruising to the division title...

 coasted to the division crown, outlasting the second-place Philadelphia Phillies
1986 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies season was the 104th season for the Phillies. Under second-year manager John Felske, the Phillies stayed just below the .500 mark for roughly two-thirds of the season, until a charge after the All-Star break pushed the club past the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos...

 by 21.5 games, en route to a 108–54 season. The Mets would eventually head to the World Series
1986 World Series
The 1986 World Series pitted the New York Mets against the Boston Red Sox. It was cited in the legend of the "Curse of the Bambino" to explain the error by Bill Buckner in Game 6 that allowed the Mets to extend the series to a seventh game...

 after a hard-fought victory over the NL West Champion Houston Astros
1986 Houston Astros season
-Regular season:* Kevin Bass had a twenty game hit streak during the season.* Dave Smith set a club record with 33 saves in one season.* September 24, 1986: Jim Deshaies set a record for the most strikeouts to start a game...

 in the 1986 NLCS
1986 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Wednesday, October 8, 1986 at Astrodome in Houston, TexasGame 1 featured a pitching duel between eventual NLCS Most Valuable Player Mike Scott and Dwight Gooden. Scott allowed just five hits and walked one while striking out 14 in a complete-game effort as the host Astros prevailed 1–0...

. Dykstra will forever be remembered for his walk off home run in Game 3, which is considered one of the biggest hits in Mets franchise history and the definitive moment of Dykstra's career. Dykstra would bat .304 in the 1986 NLCS and later hit .296 in the World Series against the Boston Red Sox
1986 Boston Red Sox season
The 1986 Boston Red Sox season involved the Red Sox finishing 1st in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 66 losses.-Offseason:...

. However, it was Dykstra's lead off home run in Game 3 of the World Series at Fenway Park
Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball club since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. It is one of two "classic"...

 that served as the spark for a Mets team that had fallen behind 2 games to none. The home run made him the 3rd Met in team history (along with Tommie Agee
Tommie Agee
Tommie Lee Agee was a Major League Baseball center fielder most noted for making two of the greatest catches in World Series history, both of which occurred in game three of the 1969 World Series.-Cleveland Indians:...

 and Wayne Garrett
Wayne Garrett
Ronald Wayne Garrett was the New York Mets starting third baseman from 1972 through 1975. Garrett also saw occasional duty as a second baseman and as a shortstop....

, both of whose home runs also came in a Game 3, in the 1969
1969 World Series
The 1969 World Series was played between the New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles, with the Mets prevailing in five games to accomplish one of the greatest upsets in Series history, as that particular Orioles squad was considered to be one of the finest ever...

 and 1973 World Series
1973 World Series
The 1973 World Series matched the defending champion Oakland Athletics against the New York Mets, with the A's winning in seven games to repeat as World Champions....

 respectively) to hit a leadoff home run in the World Series. Following Dykstra's home run, the Mets rallied to defeat the Red Sox in seven games in one of the most memorable World Series of all time.

1987–1989


Following the Mets' World Championship, Dykstra would continue to serve as the team's sparkplug for several seasons. In the 1988 NLCS
1988 National League Championship Series
-Game 1:Tuesday, October 4, 1988 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CaliforniaThe series opened with a classic pitching matchup, pitting the Dodgers' Orel Hershiser, who had won 23 games during the regular season and carried a Major League record 59 consecutive scoreless innings into the game,...

 against the Los Angeles Dodgers
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1988 season was a memorable one for the Dodgers as a squad that was picked to finish fourth wound up winning the World Series, beating the heavily favored New York Mets and Oakland Athletics on the way. Kirk Gibson carried the Dodger offense, winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award...

, Dykstra continued his post season success by hitting .429 in a losing effort. However, Dykstra was traded to the Phillies
1989 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1989 season was the Phillies 107th season. The Phillies finished in 6th place in the National League East for the second consecutive season. It would also be Mike Schmidt's final season.-Offseason:...

 on June 18, 1989, along with pitcher Roger McDowell
Roger McDowell
Roger Alan McDowell is the pitching coach of the Atlanta Braves and was a right-handed relief pitcher for twelve seasons in Major League Baseball from 1985 to 1996. He played for the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League and the Texas Rangers and...

 and minor-league player Tom Edens for second baseman Juan Samuel
Juan Samuel
Juan Milton Samuel is a retired second baseman who spent sixteen seasons in Major League Baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies , New York Mets , Los Angeles Dodgers , Kansas City Royals , Cincinnati Reds , Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays...

. Teammate Keith Hernandez
Keith Hernandez
Keith Barlow Hernandez is a former Major League Baseball first baseman. He is currently a baseball analyst working for the New York Mets, for whom he played from –, on SportsNet New York and WPIX television broadcasts...

 later said in his book Pure Baseball that Dykstra was "on the wild and crazy side", which he cites as one of the reasons the Mets chose to trade him and the Phillies chose to acquire him.

Philadelphia Phillies


Dykstra was initially upset over the trade as he enjoyed playing in New York; nevertheless, he was well liked in Philadelphia and soon became a fan favorite there as well. (According to former general manager Frank Cashen, the Phillies offered Dykstra back to the Mets after the 1989 season, but the Mets refused.) He was known for his trademark cheek full of tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 and hard play. With the Phillies, Dykstra's career was marked by incredible highs and lows. In , he started in the All Star Game
1990 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1990 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 61st playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, the home of the...

, led the league in hits, and finished fourth in batting average. He was batting over .400 into June.

Dykstra's next two seasons were marred by injury
Injury
-By cause:*Traumatic injury, a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident*Other injuries from external physical causes, such as radiation injury, burn injury or frostbite*Injury from infection...

. In , while driving drunk, he crashed his car into a tree on Darby-Paoli Road in Radnor Township. Teammate Darren Daulton
Darren Daulton
Darren Arthur Daulton , nicknamed Dutch, is a former catcher in Major League Baseball best remembered for his years with the Philadelphia Phillies...

, who was with him during the drunken incident, was also injured. Dykstra suffered fractured rib
Rib
In vertebrate anatomy, ribs are the long curved bones which form the rib cage. In most vertebrates, ribs surround the chest, enabling the lungs to expand and thus facilitate breathing by expanding the chest cavity. They serve to protect the lungs, heart, and other internal organs of the thorax...

s, a broken cheekbone, and a fractured collarbone, which cost him two months. In late August of that year, Dykstra broke his collarbone again while playing in Cincinnati
1991 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1991 season was a season in American baseball. It consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West.-Offseason:* January 29, 1990: Skeeter Barnes was signed as a free agent by the Reds....

 by running into the outfield wall and ended up missing the remainder of the season.

On Opening Day , Dykstra was hit by a pitch
Hit by pitch
In baseball, hit by pitch , or hit batsman , is a batter or his equipment being hit in some part of his body by a pitch from the pitcher.-Official rule:...

 that broke his hand. In all he played in just 145 of 324 possible games in the 1991
1991 Philadelphia Phillies season
-Offseason:* December 17, 1990: Danny Cox was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.*January 11, 1991: Jim Lindeman was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.-Regular season:...

 and 1992
1992 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1992 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in Major League Baseball. The Phillies finished sixth in the National League East with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses.-Offseason:...

 seasons.

In , it all seemed to come together for Dykstra and the Phillies
1993 Philadelphia Phillies season
The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies season saw the Phillies capture the National League East championship. The Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves in the 1993 National League Championship Series in six games, before losing the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays.-Regular season:After finishing in...

. The team, which had been rebuilding since its last playoff appearance ten years previous
1983 Philadelphia Phillies season
The Philadelphia Phillies season involved the Phillies winning the National League East Division title with a record of 90-72, six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates...

, returned to the top of the National League East
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

. He played in 161 games, setting a Major League record with 773 plate appearances. Despite being overlooked for the 1993 All-Star
1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1993 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 64th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League and National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 13, 1993 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland,...

 team, Dykstra led the league in runs, hits, walks
Base on balls
A base on balls is credited to a batter and against a pitcher in baseball statistics when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. It is better known as a walk. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08...

, and at-bats, and was runner-up to Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Barry Lamar Bonds is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He is the son of former major league All-Star Bobby Bonds...

 in voting for the Most Valuable Player
Most Valuable Player
In sports, a Most Valuable Player award is an honor typically bestowed upon the best performing player or players on a specific team, in an entire league, or for a particular contest or series of contests...

 of the National League. Dykstra's spark led the Phillies to the World Series
1993 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 16, 1993 at SkyDome in Toronto, OntarioThe Series' first game sent two staff aces—Curt Schilling for Philadelphia and Juan Guzman for Toronto—against one another. The result was less than a pitcher's duel, however, as both teams scored early and often.The deciding plays...

, where they faced the Toronto Blue Jays
1993 Toronto Blue Jays season
The Toronto Blue Jays season involved the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses. They were shut out only once in 162 regular-season games. The Blue Jays would repeat as World Champions and become the first back-to-back champions since the New...

. In the series, Dykstra batted .348 and hit four home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s, including two in a 15–14 Phillies loss in Game 4. The Phillies ultimately lost the series in six games.

Retirement


Injuries plagued Dykstra for the rest of his career. He last played in the 1996 season, and launched one final comeback attempt in Spring Training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 in 1998 before retiring at the age of 35. After his retirement, Dykstra ran a car wash
Car wash
A car wash or auto wash is a facility used to clean the exterior and, in some cases, the interior of motor vehicles.- Categories :...

 in Simi Valley, California
Simi Valley, California
-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Simi Valley had a population of 124,237. The population density was 2,940.8 people per square mile...

, but sold this in 2007.

Dykstra was sued in relation to the car wash in 2005. The lawsuit, filed by former business partner Lindsay Jones, alleged that Dykstra used steroids and told Jones to place bets on Phillies games in 1993, when Dykstra was on the team. Dykstra denied the allegations. Dykstra was also identified by others as using steroids during his career.

Dykstra managed a stock portfolio, and served as president of several of his privately held companies, including car washes; a partnership with Castrol
Castrol
Castrol is a brand of industrial and automotive lubricants which is applied to a large range of oils, greases and similar products for most lubrication applications...

 in "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers; a ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips Company is an American multinational energy corporation with its headquarters located in the Energy Corridor district of Houston, Texas in the United States...

 fueling facility; a real estate
Real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...

 development company; and a venture to develop several "I Sold It on eBay" stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

. He also appeared on Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

's The Cost of Freedom
The Cost of Freedom
The Cost of Freedom is an American business program block on the Fox News Channel, which runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET Saturdays and 4:00 to 6:00 a.m. ET Mondays and several times throughout the weekend on sister network Fox Business Network, while a short seguments called Money Break air...

business shows and his stock picking skills were even mentioned by Jim Cramer, who had Dykstra write an investing column for TheStreet.

Dykstra purchased Wayne Gretzky's $17 million estate with the hopes of flipping it, but was unsuccessful. At one point, Dykstra owed more than $13 million on the house, and Lake Sherwood security guards were eventually told to keep Dykstra away from the property due to Dykstra stripping the house of over $51,000 worth of items (counter-tops, an oven, and hardwood flooring) and Dykstra allowing the homeowners' insurance to lapse on the property. The home was eventually sold in January 2011 for "an undisclosed amount". Jeff Smith, the second lienholder on the former Gretzky mansion, said the property was listed on the market for $10.5 million. Sources interviewed by CNBC said that Smith "did very well" with the sale.

In 2000, Dykstra and members of the 1986 World Championship team threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series
2000 World Series
-Game 1:Saturday, October 21, 2000 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New YorkThe opener fell on two anniversaries. Twenty-five years prior, Boston Red Sox's catcher Carlton Fisk ended Game 6 of the 1975 World Series with his famous home run off the left field foul pole in Fenway Park in Boston to beat...

 at Shea Stadium
Shea Stadium
William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, usually shortened to Shea Stadium or just Shea , was a stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. It was the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets from 1964 to 2008...

 against the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

. In 2002, Dykstra made a much-anticipated return to New York when he was elected as part of the Mets' 40th Anniversary All-Amazin Team.

In 2006, Dykstra also returned to Shea Stadium as the Mets honored the 20th Anniversary of the 1986 World Championship team. Dykstra has recently voiced a greater desire to get back involved in baseball, and his name has been mentioned as a possible coach
Coach (baseball)
In baseball, a number of coaches assist in the smooth functioning of a team. They are assistants to the manager, or head coach, who determines the lineup and decides how to substitute players during the game...

 or manager
Manager (baseball)
In baseball, the field manager is an individual who is responsible for matters of team strategy on the field and team leadership. Managers are typically assisted by between one and six assistant coaches, whose responsibilities are specialized...

 for the Mets; and Dykstra has also recently served as a part-time instructor at Mets' spring training at their camp in Port St. Lucie.

Dykstra returned to Flushing on September 28, 2008 for the Farewell to Shea Stadium ceremony held after the final game of the season.

In May 2011, Dykstra was sentenced to house arrest after a bankruptcy fraud indictment. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Dykstra has been allowed to leave the house under the conditions of work, going to church, and mandatory drug-testing. Following his June 10 hearing for drug possession and grand theft auto, Dykstra has been in jail awaiting trial due his inability to post the $500,000 bail. He has also been appointed a public defender
Public defender
The term public defender is primarily used to refer to a criminal defense lawyer appointed to represent people charged with a crime but who cannot afford to hire an attorney in the United States and Brazil. The term is also applied to some ombudsman offices, for example in Jamaica, and is one way...

. On October 19, Dykstra pleaded no contest
Nolo contendere
is a legal term that comes from the Latin for "I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as a plea of no contest.In criminal trials, and in some common law jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of...

 to three grand theft auto charges and one count of filing a false financial report. He will be sentenced on January 20, 2012.

Family


His son, Cutter Dykstra, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

 in the second round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft
2008 Major League Baseball Draft
The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continued Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, and was held on June 5 and 6, 2008.-First round selections:* Did not sign...

. He currently plays for the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

 organization. His uncles Pete
Pete Leswick
Peter John Leswick was a Canadian ice hockey right winger. In the 1936–37 season, he played one game for the New York Americans, and scored one goal. In the 1944–45 season, he played two games for the Boston Bruins. He was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.-References:*...

, Jack
Jack Leswick
Jack "Newsy" Leswick was a Canadian ice hockey centre for the Chicago Black Hawks. His only NHL season came in 1934.-Playing career:...

 and Tony Leswick
Tony Leswick
Anthony Joseph Leswick was a former ice hockey forward who played mostly for the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings of the NHL. Nicknamed "Tough Tony" and "Mighty Mouse", he was known also as a little pest. Little, because he stood just 5'7" tall and weighed 160lbs...

 all played in the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

.

Lenny's wife, Terri, filed for divorce in April 2009.

Business affairs and bankruptcy


In September 2008, Dykstra began a high-end jet charter company and magazine marketed towards professional athletes known as Player's Club, LLC. The magazine was part of a business plan to offer financial advice to professional athletes, according to a profile article in the New Yorker magazine, Dykstra has a website "Nails Investments" with information about his investment ideas.

In early 2009 stories and evidence began to emerge that indicated Dykstra's financial empire was in a tailspin. A GQ article by Kevin P. Coughlin
Kevin P. Coughlin
Kevin P. Coughlin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, writer, director of photography, pilot, and aerial photographer. His photographs at Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and while covering funerals and memorial services of fallen fire...

, a former photo editor for the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

, detailed Coughlin's 67-day employment with Dykstra producing The Players Club, a magazine geared toward athletes and their expensive lifestyles. It portrayed Dykstra in an unflattering light, as Coughlin detailed incidents accusing Dykstra of credit card fraud
Credit card fraud
Credit card fraud is a wide-ranging term for theft and fraud committed using a credit card or any similar payment mechanism as a fraudulent source of funds in a transaction. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account. Credit card fraud is also...

, failure to pay rent on the magazine's Park Avenue
Park Avenue (Manhattan)
Park Avenue is a wide boulevard that carries north and southbound traffic in New York City borough of Manhattan. Through most of its length, it runs parallel to Madison Avenue to the west and Lexington Avenue to the east....

 offices, bounced checks, lawsuits, and Dykstra's refusal to pay printing costs.

An extensive article about an ESPN.com investigation in April 2009 went into greater detail, noting Dykstra has been the subject of at least two dozen legal actions since 2007.

In July 2009, Dykstra, whose net worth was estimated at $58 million in 2008, filed for Chapter 11
Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most...

 bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

, listing less than $50,000 in assets against $10 million to $50 million in liabilities. Dykstra claimed to be a victim of mortgage fraud
Mortgage fraud
Mortgage fraud is crime in which the intent is to materially misrepresent or omit information on a mortgage loan application to obtain a loan or to obtain a larger loan than would have been obtained had the lender or borrower known the truth....

 and lost a house purchased for $17.5 million from Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, CC is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. Nicknamed "The Great One", he is generally regarded as the best player in the history of the National Hockey League , and has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters,...

 to foreclosure. The house is located at 1072 Newbern Court, Thousand Oaks, CA in the Sherwood Country Club
Sherwood Country Club
Sherwood Country Club is a private, member owned golf and country club set at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in Thousand Oaks, California. Sherwood is home to a championship 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, driving range and Georgian architecture golf clubhouse...

 development in Southern California.

34°7′48.64"N 118°53′24.8"W

According to the July 7, 2009 petition in the Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of California Dykstra's debts and creditors include: $12.9mm to Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual
Washington Mutual, Inc. , abbreviated to WaMu, was a savings bank holding company and the former owner of Washington Mutual Bank, which was the United States' largest savings and loan association until its collapse in 2008....

 (unsecured), $4 mm to Countrywide Financial
Countrywide Financial
Bank of America Home Loans is the mortgage unit of Bank of America. Bank of America Home Loans is composed of:*Mortgage Banking, which originates purchases, securitizes, and services mortgages. In 2008, Bank of America purchased the failing Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion...

 /Bank of America (unsecured), $3.5mm to Rockbridge Bank of Atlanta, $2.5mm to David and Teresa Litt, $1.5mm to K&L Gates (a large law firm), and smaller amounts to others.

In August 2009, Dykstra was living out of his car and in hotel lobbies. The estate purchased from Gretzky was riddled with water damage, torn up flooring, missing toilets, among other things. His second home, also inside Sherwood Country Club
Sherwood Country Club
Sherwood Country Club is a private, member owned golf and country club set at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains in Thousand Oaks, California. Sherwood is home to a championship 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, driving range and Georgian architecture golf clubhouse...

, was vacant due to mold problems. Dykstra became involved in a dispute with his insurance company to fix the problems with his homes. The Fireman's Fund insurance company provided Mr. and Mrs. Dykstra with a temporary residence pending resolution of issues with the homes. According to court papers the Dykstra house was in "unshowable" condition as "the home was littered throughout with empty beer bottles, trash, dog feces and urine and other unmentionables." Raw sewage had been leaking inside the home and electrical wiring had been damaged or removed by vandals.

On Sept. 13, 2009 it was announced that Dykstra's 1986 New York Mets World Series championship ring and trophy would be sold off. Auctioneers said they plan to sell a trove of memorabilia the former All-Star left unclaimed at a pawnshop in Beverly Hills. Each could sell for $20,000 or more. On October 6, 2009 the Wall Street Journal reported that Dykstra's World Series ring had been auctioned off for $56,762 "to help pay the former major-leaguer's $31 million debt." On November 20, 2009 the case was converted to a Chapter 7
Chapter 7, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 7 of the Title 11 of the United States Code governs the process of liquidation under the bankruptcy laws of the United States...

 bankruptcy to liquidate the estate and pay creditors.

In June 2010, a court-appointed federal trustee in Dykstra's bankruptcy case charged that Dykstra had lied under oath, improperly hid and sold assets, and repeatedly acted in a "fraudulent and deceitful manner" during his ongoing bankruptcy case. The trustee asked that the bankruptcy court deny Dykstra's request to have his bankruptcy discharged due to his actions.

On April 13, 2011 Lenny Dykstra was arrested for investigation of grand theft, a day after he was charged with a federal bankruptcy crime. Dykstra was arrested by Los Angeles police at his Encino home on suspicion of trying to buy a stolen car. His arrest came a day after Dykstra, in an unrelated federal complaint, was charged with embezzling
Embezzlement
Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly appropriating or secreting assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted....

 from a bankruptcy estate. He faces up to five years in federal prison if convicted. Federal prosecutors contend that after filing for bankruptcy, Dykstra hid, sold or destroyed more than $400,000 worth of items from the $18.5 million mansion without permission of a bankruptcy trustee. The items allegedly ranged from sports memorabilia to a $50,000 sink. At one point, he sold “a truckload of furnishing and fixtures” for cash at a consignment store, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office. On June 13, 2011 Dykstra appeared in Federal bankruptcy court to plead not guilty to thirteen charges. He was represented by a public defender. The trial was set to begin August 9. Dykstra faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted of all charges relating to embezzlement, obstruction of justice
Obstruction of justice
The crime of obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of interfering with the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other officials...

, bankruptcy fraud, making false statements to bankruptcy court, and concealing property from the bankruptcy court.

Incidents


At approximately 1AM on May 7, 1991, Dykstra crashed his red Mercedes-Benz SL 500 into a tree on Darby-Paoli Road in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania after attending the bachelor party of teammate John Kruk
John Kruk
John Martin Kruk is a former Major League Baseball player and current baseball analyst for ESPN.-Early life and career:...

. Dykstra suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken facial bone. He also received second-degree burns on his left arm and lower back. Darren Daulton
Darren Daulton
Darren Arthur Daulton , nicknamed Dutch, is a former catcher in Major League Baseball best remembered for his years with the Philadelphia Phillies...

 (also a former teammate) was a passenger in the car at the time and his injuries included an injured eye and a broken facial bone. According to Radnor Township Police, Dykstra's blood alcohol content
Blood alcohol content
Blood alcohol content , also called blood alcohol concentration, blood ethanol concentration, or blood alcohol level is most commonly used as a metric of alcohol intoxication for legal or medical purposes....

 was measured at 0.179 percent at the time of the crash.

In 1999, he was arrested for sexual harassment
Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment, is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. In some contexts or circumstances, sexual harassment is illegal. It includes a range of behavior from seemingly mild transgressions and...

 of a 17-year-old woman who worked at his car wash, but the criminal charges were later dropped.

In March 2009, press reports alleged that Dykstra's businesses were facing financial ruin and that he had used offensive terms when speaking about Blacks, women, and homosexuals.

In September 2009, Lenny Dykstra was banned from both of his foreclosed multi-million dollar properties in Lake Sherwood. Security officers have been instructed to deny access to Dykstra. He was accused of vandalizing the properties and not maintaining home owners' insurance on the properties. A trustee was assigned by the courts to manage the properties.

In December 2010, Dykstra was accused of hiring a female escort, then writing the escort a bad $1,000 check. Adult film star and escort Monica Foster claimed that he purchased her escort service on December 13, 2010 then wrote her a check that bounced. Monica Foster later posted a copy of the bounced check on her blog.

In January 2011, Dykstra was accused of sexual assault
Sexual assault
Sexual assault is an assault of a sexual nature on another person, or any sexual act committed without consent. Although sexual assaults most frequently are by a man on a woman, it may involve any combination of two or more men, women and children....

 by his housekeeper. A female housekeeper alleged Dykstra would force her to give him oral sex on Saturdays. The woman told investigators she “needed the job and the money so she went along with the suspect’s requests rather than lose her job,” according to the filing, and “returned to work in the suspect’s home with knowledge that she obtained from the Internet of a claim of sexual assault by another woman.”

On April 14, 2011, Dykstra was arrested and charged with bankruptcy fraud. Also The Los Angeles Police Department Commercial Crimes Division arrested Dykstra on separate grand theft charges related to the purchase of vehicles. He was held on $500,000 bail.

On June 6, 2011, Dykstra was arrested and charged with 25 misdemeanor and felony counts of grand theft auto
Motor vehicle theft
Motor vehicle theft is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle...

, identity theft
Identity theft
Identity theft is a form of stealing another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name...

, filing false financial statements, and possession of cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

, ecstasy, and the human growth hormone, Somatropin. He pleaded not guilty to the charges on June 16, with a pre-trial date set of September 13. Dykstra's co-defendants both entered no contest
No contest
No contest may refer to:*Nolo contendere, a plea in a criminal court case *No contest , a decision at a sporting event *No Contest a film starring Shannon Tweed...

 pleas in exchange for their testimony against him. In addition, prosecutors added a new charge that, if convicted, Dykstra would have to spend his time in state prison, as opposed to county jail. He faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted of all 25 counts.

On August 25, 2011, Dykstra was charged with indecent exposure
Indecent exposure
Indecent exposure is the deliberate exposure in public or in view of the general public by a person of a portion or portions of his or her body, in circumstances where the exposure is contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behavior. Indecent exposure laws vary in different...

. The Los Angeles City Attorney accuses Dykstra of placing ads on Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classified advertisements, with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums....

 requesting a personal assistant or housekeeping services. The victims allege when they arrived, they were informed that the job also required massage service and then Dykstra would disrobe and he would expose himself.

Mitchell Report


Dykstra was named in the Mitchell Report
Mitchell Report (baseball)
The Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball, informally known as the "Mitchell Report", is the result of former Democratic United States Senator from Maine...

 on steroid use in Major League Baseball on December 13, 2007. The report cited multiple sources, including Kirk Radomski
Kirk Radomski
Kirk J. Radomski is a former batboy and clubhouse employee for the New York Mets Major League Baseball team from 1985–1995, who on April 27, 2007 pleaded guilty in United States district court to money laundering and illegal distribution of anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, Clenbuterol,...

, stating that Dykstra used anabolic steroids during his MLB career. It also stated that the Commissioner of Baseball
Commissioner of Baseball
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

's office had known about Dykstra's steroid use since 2000. Dykstra did not agree to meet with the Mitchell investigators to discuss the allegations.

On December 20, 2007, Dykstra was also named in Jason Grimsley
Jason Grimsley
Jason Alan Grimsley is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He made his debut on September 8, , and pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, Anaheim Angels, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, and most recently, the Arizona Diamondbacks.-Major league...

's unsealed affidavit as an alleged user of steroids.

See also


External links