Lenny Dykstra who earned $36.5 million during his 12 year major league career has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Prosecutors said Dykstra and two co-defendants tried to lease and then sell high-end cars from several car dealerships by claiming credit through a phony business. – Foxsports.com
This is not the end of Dykstra’s legal problems as he will be facing federal bankruptcy charges this summer. Instead of following the rules of bankruptcy Dykstra attempted to sell or destroy $400,000 worth of property from his $18.5 million mansion. Dykstra is a sad example of a baseball player who had it all and then burned through his $36.5 million baseball income, plus any money earned through his other ventures, which included giving stock tips to investors.
The following ESPN.com article from 2009 details the financial and legal problems three years ago, so his problems have been ongoing for a long time now.The article will leave readers with a less than favorable impression of Dykstra. After reading the article it is easy to see how Dykstra wound up in prison. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4084962
Dykstra was fortunate to earn the $36.5 million, as can be seen after checking his career statistics. He led the NL in hits in 1990 and 1993 with 192 and 194 hits, but never collected more than 127 hits in any of his other 10 seasons. It really boils down to him having two great years in 1990 and 1993 and he only had 1,298 hits in his 12 year career. The Philadelphia Phillies paid Dykstra $24.4 million combined in his last four seasons.
However, he only played the first two seasons, so was paid $12 for not playing the last two seasons. He may have had a career-ending injury to not have played the last two seasons, or his contract was structured for him to continue being paid the next two years. He only posted more than 100 hits three times from 1989-1996 with an 86 hit season in 1994, the closest he came to 100 hits in that time span. It is not surprising that Dykstra received only one Hall of Fame vote for 0.2 percent of the vote.
Most players would have been content to spend their retirement at home, without risking their millions in shaky investments. It is hard to conjure up any sympathy for Dykstra, since he caused all his problems by his own actions. He is finally learning that there are consequences for unethical business practices and he could additional years in prison added to his sentence, when the bankruptcy trial is held this summer. Dykstra will celebrate his 50th birthday in prison in July. He will have a lot of time to think in prison and hopefully will be a different person when he walks out of prison in a few years.