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Blackmailing Umpires and Other Insane Tales From Lenny Dykstra

Ex-Mets, Phillies star shares a life hilarious and disturbing

Sports By
Lenny Dykstra
(Focus on Sport/Getty Images)


Former Major League Baseball star Lenny Dykstra was part of the 1986 New York Mets team that beat the Boston Red Sox in legendary fashion—the team’s comeback among the greatest in sports history. He became an outright star late in his career for the Philadelphia Phillies, putting together a career year in ’93 and placing second in the MVP voting.

Since his retirement in 1996 at just 33, things have been bizarre. He briefly established himself as an investment savant and bought Wayne Gretzky’s house for $18.5 million before a spectacular downward spiral, including a laundry list of criminal behavior, culminated in a three-year prison sentence in 2012. (He was released less than a year later.) Even Dykstra’s baseball reputation took a hit when he was named in 2007’s Mitchell Report along with a number of MLB players for suspected steroid use.

Dykstra offered his side in the brutally honest new autobiography, House of Nails, released on June 28. (It includes photos of his face after a jailhouse beating he says caused him to lose all his teeth.)

For a journalist’s take on the man, read about his trials and tribulations in jail and his unabashed steroid usage in Scott Miller’s feature for Bleacher Report.

Below, watch Dykstra explain how he allegedly spent $500,000 to blackmail umpires, then see a longer discussion of his career highs and personal woes on The Dan Patrick Show.