Lenny Dykstra, the pride of Santa Ana known as "Nails" during an illustrious Major League Baseball career with the New York Mets in the 1980s and Philadelphia Phillies in the 1990s, details his post-career, financial free-fall in bankruptcy documents just posted by The Smoking Gun, which notes that among his remaining assets is a $10,000 German shepherd.
After retiring from baseball in 1998 at age 35, Dykstra opened a car wash in Corona, which led to the opening of more car washes, "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers, a Conoco Phillips fueling facility, a real estate development company, "I Sold It on eBay" stores, a high-end jet charter company and a magazine marketed toward professional athletes known as Player's Club.
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With his new wealth, Dykstra was able to purchase Wayne Gretzky's $17 million estate, and the media became filled with stories about Lenny's amazing stock-picking abilities. Among Dykstra's biggest cheerleaders was CNBC's Jim Cramer.
There had been bumps along the way, including a lawsuit brought by his partner in the car wash ventures, a sexual harassment complaint by a 17-year-old girl who worked for Dykstra and strong evidence of steroid use during his playing days. But he was still hailed as a genius businessman up through early this year, when evidence began mounting that Dykstra's financial empire was in a tailspin. Allegations surfaced of credit-card fraud and failure to pay bills. It turned out there were dozens of legal actions filed against him.
Dykstra lost the Gretzky house (claiming to be the victim of mortgage fraud). His wife left him, and his brother is suing him for breach-of-contract. Enter The Smoking Gun . . .
AUGUST 12--A month after filing for bankruptcy protection, former baseball star Lenny Dykstra has detailed the financial wreckage in which he is enveloped. In schedules filed this week in U.S. District Court in California, Dykstra lists liabilities of $37.1 million and claims assets of $24.6 million. The ex-athlete's list of creditors runs 22 pages and details debts to law firms, banks, aviation companies, former employees, pilots, credit card companies, hotels, a chef, and the Internal Revenue Service. Dykstra, who has fashioned himself as a high-flying investor and stock picker, filed a statement listing his only current income as a $5,700 monthly Major League Baseball pension (a copy of that schedule can be found below). Dykstra, whose 12-year career included a World Series championship with the New York Mets and three All-Star selections, is facing numerous lawsuits accusing him of fraud and assorted financial impropriety. His wife Terri filed for divorce in April, and, in late-June, his brother Kevin sued him for breach of contract. But Dykstra is not without loyal supporters. Listed among his personal property in the August 10 court filing is a German shepherd valued at a whopping $10,000. It is unclear how Dykstra priced this particular asset.