Lenny Dykstra was a gung-ho center fielder that got the job done and then some in center field for the Phillies and the Mets in his 12 year career as a Major Leaguer. “Nails” was his nickname and he was like having a linebacker from a football team playing center field and he could hit. Yes, the later stages of his career may have been fueled by steroids, but Dykstra had that inner inertia that just exuded energy.
Lenny was drafted in the 13th round of the amateur draft in 1981 by the New York Mets as a 22 year old rookie. He finally made it to the big leagues in 1985 for the Mets, and in 1986, we all know that the NY Mets won it all, their first World Series and Lenny did very well. For the Phillies, he probably would have been the World Series MVP of 1993, if the Phillies had won, he hit 4 HR and had 8 RBI in the World Series that got away from the Phillies.
Dykstra’s career year was in 1993, he worked 129 BB, and produced 191 hits on the season, while putting in 637 AB. He was like baseball’s iron man, someone that didn’t seem real. Well, the truth was he wasn’t ‘real’ as he told many years later, Lenny admitted that he was one of the first to start dabbling in steroids. He wanted to be big, bad, and in charge. Well, he became all three with the help of body building steroids that seemed to run rampant in Major League players circles, and even the gym scene across the country. It was new, enticing and little did anyone realize or probably care how bad it was for you to take them, the edge of keeping your job as a well paid major league player was the enticement for plenty of players to do them.
Dykstra cashed in with a nice contract at the time with the Phillies a three year $24.2 Million dollar deal that took him to the end of his career in 1995 and should have set him up for life. Now, many years later, Lenny Dykstra is almost facing life, life in prison that is. The career in baseball long gone, Lenny had turned to multi-millionaire investor and advisor and someone that could not go wrong, until the economy and bad investment deals started to collapse and fall all around this former center fielder like a house of cards.
Dykstra started some businesses right after his playing career. They were pretty successful, plenty of car washes and lube centers in Southern California. This was just the start of something big that Dykstra that always was seeking.
The road of success drove Dykstra to Wall Street, he learned all about business and investing and then started to associate himself with other well know investment advisors who proclaimed that Dykstra had a real business talent.
Dykstra’s successes in business were about to turn though, just as the economy was about to tank in the United States in 2008, the tailspin for Lenny also was about to begin. He lived large on the success he had in a short time in the business world, but just as large as his success, the equal force of his failure was about to nearly consume him. It started with his investments, two multi-million dollar homes were purchased in California. One of those used to belong to Wayne Gretzky, and then nails bought into the neighborhood. His stay or ownership really didn’t last that long, as Lenny declared bankruptcy in September of 2009. His financial empire was collapsing in ruins, and Dykstra didn’t help matter either, allegedly abusing drugs and drinking as was talked about by many who knew him and were concerned for him.
Already serving 2 1/2 years for bankruptcy fraud, Lenny now gets an additional 6-12 months for his most recent conviction just yesterday for hiding some personal memorabilia from his playing days from the bankruptcy court. That is relatively light to what he could have been sentenced to. Dykstra may be his own worst enemy though, if he doesn’t sort his problems out by the time he leaves jail.