Are there certain athletes, you associate with your childhood?
For me... the answer is "yes" and Lenny Dykstra is one of them. Dykstra never played on one of my favorite teams, nor was he ever considered to be a favorite player of mine.
But when I look at his 1986 Topps rookie card, it instantly takes me back to the day I found a 1986 Topps baseball rack pack with him staring at me on the front at Long's Drugstore. It was the first time that I can remember keeping a pack sealed in hopes of making big $$$ in the future.
Mr. Dykstra is a link to my little league days and early cardboard collecting years.
Now, let's get onto the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of Mr. Dykstra's life...
Dykstra had a solid MLB career. During his 12 seasons with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, he made the all-star team three times, led the National League in hits twice, and won the Silver Slugger Award in 1993. Dykstra was a key component for the Mets in 1986 when they became World Series Champions for the second (and final) time in franchise history. Injuries shortened his career and he played his final MLB game on May 18th, 1996.
He's been honored several times since that day by the Mets organization, including being elected to the 40th Anniversary All-Amazin Team.
Unfortunately, Mr. Dykstra has had numerous off the field issues including: steroid accusations, bankruptcy fraud, grand theft auto charges, living out of his car, property foreclosures, sexual assault accusations, and indecent exposure charges.
and The Ugly
This afternoon a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge sentenced Mr. Dykstra to three years in a California state prison. Dykstra had attempted to withdraw his no contest plea and hoped he would be cleared of any wrongdoing.
I've heard on numerous occasions of people turning their lives around after hitting rock bottom. Hopefully this will be a nice wake-up call for Mr. Dykstra.
Happy Monday everyone... and sayonara!