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Lenny ‘Nails’ Dykstra hammered by tough times

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Jim Salisbury
July 9, 2009

In the strongest evidence yet that his financial empire is crumbling, former Phillies star Lenny Dykstra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday in a California court.


Dykstra, 46, claims to have no more than $50,000 in assets, with liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.


“Sometimes the difficult decisions in life are the most necessary,” Dykstra wrote in an e-mail to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “In the end, the restructuring will definitely be a good thing.”


Dykstra’s son, Cutter, is in the Brewers’ farm system after being drafted by Milwaukee in the last year’s June draft.


In a statement, Walter Hackett, one of Dykstra’s lawyers, said the filing “was to shield (Dykstra’s) property from a host of meritless claims. This action will provide Mr. Dykstra time to reorganize his estate (and) successfully challenge the multitude of meritless claims that have been made against him.”


Dykstra launched a magazine called The Players Club in 2008. The glossy magazine was aimed at professional athletes looking for ways to spend their money. It contained advertisements for private jet services, luxury cars, expensive wristwatches and pricey cigars.


Dykstra was accused of not paying his bills by people who worked for the magazine and companies that provided services for it. The April issue of GQ magazine featured a story written by Kevin Coughlin, a former photo editor for The Players Club. The article, titled “You Think Your Job Sucks? Try Working For Lenny Dykstra,” told of numerous lawsuits that had been filed.


against Dykstra for unpaid wages.


Contacted by The Inquirer when the GQ article came out, Dykstra said he was doing fine financially. As if to support that, he said during the interview that he was riding in his Rolls Royce.


Wednesday’s bankruptcy filing shows that Dykstra, who made $36.5 million during a 12-year major-league career and boasted of making millions more on Wall Street, is indeed having financial problems. The bankruptcy filing lists credit-card companies, banks, lawyers, printing companies and private aviation companies among Dykstra’s creditors. Dykstra’s $18 million California mansion reportedly is in foreclosure as well. Dykstra also is being sued by his brother, Kevin, a former business partner who claims that Lenny did not pay him his stake when the former ballplayer sold a chain of car washes for $50 million.


Dykstra spent 12 seasons in the majors, including eight with the Phillies. He was a three-time all-star with the Phils and finished second in the National League MVP voting in 1993.


Jim Salisbury is a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer

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