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Lenny Dykstra career timeline

November 10, 1993 Finishes second in the National

November 10, 1993
Finishes second in the National League MVP voting to Barry Bonds. Photo Credit: AP, 1993

A timeline of Lenny Dykstra's dramatic -- and ultimately tragic -- baseball and post-MLB career.

Compiled by Jim Baumbach

May, 1981 Mistaken for batboy at Mets’ pre-draft
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

May, 1981
Mistaken for batboy at Mets’ pre-draft workout. Tells Mets scouting director Joe McIllvaine that he’s the best player there.

June, 1981 Drafted by Mets in 13th round.
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

June, 1981
Drafted by Mets in 13th round.

May 3, 1985 Homers in second at-bat in
Photo Credit: Newsday/David Pokress

May 3, 1985
Homers in second at-bat in debut with Mets

March 5, 1986 Anointed Mets’ starting centerfielder after
Photo Credit: Newsday/Paul Bereswill

March 5, 1986
Anointed Mets’ starting centerfielder after Mookie Wilson injures eye in freak spring training accident.

Oct. 11, 1986 Hits dramatic home run to
Photo Credit: AP

Oct. 11, 1986
Hits dramatic home run to give Mets 6-5 win over Astros in Game 3 of NLCS.

Oct. 21, 1986 Hits leadoff home run at
Photo Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill

Oct. 21, 1986
Hits leadoff home run at Fenway in Game 3 of World Series.

July 7, 1987 Publicly expresses his disappointment over
Photo Credit: AP

July 7, 1987
Publicly expresses his disappointment over sharing centerfield with Mookie Wilson. “I don't want to be traded,” he said. “I want to play in New York, and I stress the word play.”

Feb. 23, 1988 Shows up at spring training
Photo Credit: AP

Feb. 23, 1988
Shows up at spring training saying he put on 15-17 pounds of muscle because he never forgot that Fred Lynn told him in high school “it’s a strong man’s game.”

March, 1988 A report in the Palm Beach
Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

March, 1988
A report in the Palm Beach Post, years later, reveals that during this spring training Dykstra had three of four traffic tickets voided after he almost struck a school crossing guard.

August, 1988 Reiterated his unhappiness about not playing
Photo Credit: Getty Images

August, 1988
Reiterated his unhappiness about not playing everyday.

March, 1989 Dykstra says he asks for a
Photo Credit: AP, 1986

March, 1989
Dykstra says he asks for a trade “all the time, whenever I get a chance.”

June 18, 1989 In what amounts to one
Photo Credit: AP, 1996

June 18, 1989
In what amounts to one of the worst trades in franchise history, Mets send Dykstra and Roger McDowell to Philadelphia Phillies for Juan Samuel.

February, 1990 Shows up for his first spring
Photo Credit: AP

February, 1990
Shows up for his first spring training with the Phillies saying he had gained 25 pounds through better diet, lifting weights and “the good type of vitamins.”

July 5, 1990 Named to the National League
Photo Credit: AP

July 5, 1990
Named to the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career.

August, 1990 Incites a benches-clearing brawl at Dodger
Photo Credit: AP, 1989

August, 1990
Incites a benches-clearing brawl at Dodger Stadium when he and Dodgers catcher Rick Dempsey get in an argument at home plate and start throwing punches.

August 30, 1990 Signs a three-year extension with
Photo Credit: AP, 1990

August 30, 1990
Signs a three-year extension with the Phillies worth 7.3 million with an option for a fourth year at additional 2.3 million.

March 12, 1991 Testifies as a government witness
Photo Credit: AP, 1991

March 12, 1991
Testifies as a government witness in a federal trial of a man accused of running illegal poker games; Dykstra says he had lost $78,000 in those betting games.

March 16, 1991 Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent flies
Photo Credit: Paul Bereswill

March 16, 1991
Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent flies to Phillies spring training to meet privately with Dykstra about his gambling.

March 20, 1991 Dykstra is placed on probation
Photo Credit: AP

March 20, 1991
Dykstra is placed on probation for one-year and ordered to refrain from all gambling activities.

May 6, 1991 Dykstra suffers broken ribs, collarbone
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

May 6, 1991
Dykstra suffers broken ribs, collarbone and cheekbone in a car accident in which authorities said he was driving drunk on his way home from a teammate’s bachelor party.

June 11, 1991 Appears in court for a
Photo Credit: AP

June 11, 1991
Appears in court for a preliminary hearing. Dykstra is charged with DWI, speeding and reckless driving.

July 15, 1991 Recovered from his injuries, Dykstra
Photo Credit: AP

July 15, 1991
Recovered from his injuries, Dykstra returns to the majors and shows he hasn’t changed his play-at-all-cost attitude, diving headfirst into second base.

August 27, 1991 Breaks his collarbone while crashing
Photo Credit: AP

August 27, 1991
Breaks his collarbone while crashing into the outfield wall in Cincinnati while making a running catch. It’s the same collarbone he broke in May car crash. Is out for season.

January 10, 1992 Enters a first-time offender program
Photo Credit: AP

January 10, 1992
Enters a first-time offender program that results in a suspended driver’s license for three months but ultimately erases the DWI arrest from his record.

April 7, 1992 Breaks his left wrist when
Photo Credit: AP

April 7, 1992
Breaks his left wrist when he is hit by a pitch during his first plate appearance of the season. Still played final 8 ½ innings with broken wrist. Misses three weeks.

August 16, 1992 Breaks his hand diving into
Photo Credit: AP

August 16, 1992
Breaks his hand diving into first base. Still played remainder of game even though he had been telling players he thought he broke his hand. Misses rest of season.

December, 1992 An article in Philadelphia magazine details
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

December, 1992
An article in Philadelphia magazine details a day-in-the-life of Dykstra’s gambling in Atlantic City, including losing $50,000 at baccarat and nearly coming to blows with another gambler.

February, 1993 Reports to spring training and tells
Photo Credit: Getty Images

February, 1993
Reports to spring training and tells reporters, “this is the year I'm going to go out and shove it in everyone's face.” Proceeds to have best season of his career.

October 3, 1993 After injuries kept Dykstra out
Photo Credit: AP

October 3, 1993
After injuries kept Dykstra out of 177 games during the previous two seasons, he plays all but one game in 1993 and leads the league in at-bats, hits, walks and runs scored while leading the Phillies to the playoffs.

October 11, 1993 Hits a home run in
Photo Credit: AP

October 11, 1993
Hits a home run in 10th inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, giving the Phillies a three-games-to-none lead over the Braves. It’s his second home run of the series.

October 23, 1993 Dykstra’s three-run home run in
Photo Credit: AP, 1993

October 23, 1993
Dykstra’s three-run home run in the seventh inning of Game 6 is his fourth of the World Series (and sixth of the postseason) and it gives the Phillies the lead. But closer Mitch Williams blows it in the ninth and the Phillies lose the series.

November 10, 1993 Finishes second in the National
Photo Credit: AP, 1993

November 10, 1993
Finishes second in the National League MVP voting to Barry Bonds.

November, 1993 Major League Baseball sends Dykstra to
Photo Credit: AP

November, 1993
Major League Baseball sends Dykstra to Europe as its ambassador. An article in Sports Illustrated details how Dykstra refused to take off his cap at noted Paris restaurant La Tour d'Argent and spent about $13,000 on dinner, including two $3,000 bottles of wine (including one to go).

December, 1993 Nearly comes to blows with State
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

December, 1993
Nearly comes to blows with State Sen. Earl Baker of Chester County during lunch at a Philadelphia restaurant. (Baker recently told Newsday Dykstra became angry when Baker asked him to stop using foul language.)

December 24, 1993 Agrees to a new four-year,
Photo Credit: AP

December 24, 1993
Agrees to a new four-year, 24.9-million deal with the Phillies. The average annual value of the contract makes Dykstra the seventh-highest paid player in the big leagues.

January 25, 1994 Dykstra and his longtime agent
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

January 25, 1994
Dykstra and his longtime agent Alan Meersand cut ties. The agent says Dykstra “has no respect for anything” and “I no longer want to represent a player who curses at women and children.

January 29, 1994 The grand opening of Dykstra’s
Photo Credit: AP, 2004

January 29, 1994
The grand opening of Dykstra’s first car wash is held. "People have no idea about my goals, what I want out of life," he said in USA Today. "I'm not just a baseball player who dives into bases and runs into walls. Business is a new challenge. It's thrilling.”

February 9, 1995 With baseball players on strike
Photo Credit: AP, 1998

February 9, 1995
With baseball players on strike since last August, Dykstra says on ESPN he is considering crossing the picket line. Seven days later he apologizes before about 260 other players.

June 14, 1995 Dykstra goes on the disabled
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

June 14, 1995
Dykstra goes on the disabled list with a back problem. Doctors say he is bothered by a spinal condition that puts pressure on nerves in his lower back. It is this condition that will ultimately end his career in a year.

July 28, 1995 Goes on disabled list again,
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

July 28, 1995
Goes on disabled list again, this time because of knee problems.

August 2, 1995 Dykstra has surgery on right
Photo Credit: AP, 1998

August 2, 1995
Dykstra has surgery on right knee again and misses the remainder of the season.

May 20, 1996 Dykstra is placed on the
Photo Credit: AP, 1996

May 20, 1996
Dykstra is placed on the disabled list after suffering ribcage muscle pull. Two days earlier he went 0-for-3 in what will prove to be his final major-league game.

June 3, 1996 The Phillies reveal that Dykstra,
Photo Credit: AP

June 3, 1996
The Phillies reveal that Dykstra, still on the disabled list with a ribcage injury, will "seek several medical opinions" because of the continuing pain in his lower back.

June 11, 1996 The Phillies now say Dykstra
Photo Credit: AP, 1997

June 11, 1996
The Phillies now say Dykstra will miss the remainder of the season.

July 15, 1996 Dykstra has surgery on his
Photo Credit: AP, 1998

July 15, 1996
Dykstra has surgery on his back.

1997 Spends the entire year rehabbing his back.
Photo Credit: AP, 1998

1997
Spends the entire year rehabbing his back.

September, 1997 Tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that the
Photo Credit: AP

September, 1997
Tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that the year away from baseball has him confronting his mortality. "You know the great thing about life? You always get a chance to redeem yourself."

February, 1998 Still under contract with the Phillies,
Photo Credit: AP

February, 1998
Still under contract with the Phillies, Dykstra shows up for spring training hoping to make the team.

March 17, 1998 Puts comeback on hold because
Photo Credit: AP

March 17, 1998
Puts comeback on hold because of more back problems.

March 27, 1998 A back specialist tells Dykstra
Photo Credit: AP, 1998

March 27, 1998
A back specialist tells Dykstra he’s done playing baseball.

December 5, 1998 Dykstra opens his second car
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

December 5, 1998
Dykstra opens his second car wash.

June 29, 1999 Tells the Philadelphia Inquirer he
Photo Credit: AP

June 29, 1999
Tells the Philadelphia Inquirer he has calmed down in retirement. “Dude, I haven't had a drink in eight months.”

February, 1990 Shows up for his first spring
Photo Credit: AP

February, 1990
Shows up for his first spring training with the Phillies saying he had gained 25 pounds through better diet, lifting weights and “the good type of vitamins.”

Nov. 30, 1999 The charges are dropped after
Photo Credit: AP

Nov. 30, 1999
The charges are dropped after the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office says it doesn’t have enough evidence to go to trial.

Oct. 23, 2000 Agrees to return to baseball
Photo Credit: AP, 2006

Oct. 23, 2000
Agrees to return to baseball as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds’ Class-A minor-league team in Stockton, Calif.

March 1, 2001 Quits just one week into
Photo Credit: AP

March 1, 2001
Quits just one week into spring training, before the minor-leaguers had even reported to camp.

May 30, 2002 Los Angeles Times reports that
Photo Credit: UPI

May 30, 2002
Los Angeles Times reports that Dykstra’s car washes are $100,000 behind on taxes.

March, 2004 Appears at Mets spring training as
Photo Credit: AP

March, 2004
Appears at Mets spring training as a celebrity coach.

June 11, 2004 The former business manager of
Photo Credit: AP

June 11, 2004
The former business manager of Dykstra’s car wash – a longtime friend – sues Dykstra for wrongful termination and alleges in court papers that Dykstra used steroids during his career and helped a friend make money gambling on baseball. Dykstra denies the charges.

August, 2005 Dykstra makes his first appearance on
Photo Credit: AP

August, 2005
Dykstra makes his first appearance on TheStreet.com radio with stock picks.

September 6, 2005 Dykstra pens his first stock-picking
Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

September 6, 2005
Dykstra pens his first stock-picking column with TheStreet.com.

March 14, 2006 Dykstra appears on Fox News
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

March 14, 2006
Dykstra appears on Fox News talking stocks along with friend and stock-market analyst Richard Suttmeier.

August, 2007 Buys Wayne Gretzky’s home for $17.5
Photo Credit: Getty Images

August, 2007
Buys Wayne Gretzky’s home for $17.5 million. Pictured above is Gretzky.

December 5, 2007 “Doubledown Media and Lenny Dykstra
Photo Credit: AP

December 5, 2007
“Doubledown Media and Lenny Dykstra Announce Launch of 'The Players Club' Business and Lifestyle Magazine by and for Professional Athletes,” according to the press release.

December 13, 2007 Former Senator George Mitchell’s report
Photo Credit: AP, 2004

December 13, 2007
Former Senator George Mitchell’s report on performance-enhancing drug use in baseball states that Dykstra admitted to baseball investigators in 2000 he used steroids during his career. Dykstra denies this.

April 1, 2008 Dykstra hosts a lavish launch
Photo Credit: AP, 2008

April 1, 2008
Dykstra hosts a lavish launch party for The Players Club magazine at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

March 14, 2006 Dykstra appears on Fox News
Photo Credit: AP

March 14, 2006
Dykstra appears on Fox News talking stocks along with friend and stock-market analyst Richard Suttmeier.

June, 2008 Puts Gretzky home back on market
Photo Credit: The Topps Company

June, 2008
Puts Gretzky home back on market for $25 million.

December, 2008 Frustrated by inconsistent paychecks and Dykstra’s
Photo Credit: AP

December, 2008
Frustrated by inconsistent paychecks and Dykstra’s management style, his staff at the magazine walks out.

January, 2009 Sued by literary agent for not
Photo Credit: AP

January, 2009
Sued by literary agent for not paying him back on a loan and sued by one of his magazine printers for not paying his bills. The lawsuits along these lines seeking payment begin to pile up. There are nearly two dozen of them.

April, 2009 Ventura County Star reports Dykstra is
Photo Credit: AP

April, 2009
Ventura County Star reports Dykstra is $422,436 behind on his payments on the Gretzky home.

April, 2009 Dykstra’s wife, Terri, of 25 years
Photo Credit: Cliff De Bear

April, 2009
Dykstra’s wife, Terri, of 25 years files for divorce.

July 9, 2009 Dykstra files for bankruptcy to
Photo Credit: AP

July 9, 2009
Dykstra files for bankruptcy to stave off the auction of his home, which had been in foreclosure.

January 24, 2010 Dykstra tells Ventura County Star
Photo Credit: AP

January 24, 2010
Dykstra tells Ventura County Star he is homeless.

March, 2010 Dykstra sues JP Morgan Chase for
Photo Credit: Paul J. Bereswill

March, 2010
Dykstra sues JP Morgan Chase for “predatory lending,” saying he was duped into accepting a $12 million mortgage and one-year, interest-only $8.5 million second loan to cover the remainder of the home purchase price.

October 6, 2010 Dykstra tells Los Angeles Times
Photo Credit: AP

October 6, 2010
Dykstra tells Los Angeles Times that he uprooted the for-sale sign at the Gretzky house and threw a “victory party” to celebrate retaking possession of the home. The home had been for sale at the direction of the trustee in his bankruptcy case. Dykstra also says he had spent the past year living out of his car and airplane hangar. “I was a wanderer, dude. I was like Gandhi.”

November 19, 2010 Dykstra’s Gretzky mansion is sold
Photo Credit: AP, 1999

November 19, 2010
Dykstra’s Gretzky mansion is sold at foreclosure auction. Pictured above is Wayze Gretzky.

April 15, 2011 Charged with bankruptcy fraud for
Photo Credit: AP, 2011

April 15, 2011
Charged with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling off property from his house,, including sports memorabilia and household items such as vanity and appliances.

June 6, 2011 Charged with grand theft auto
Photo Credit: AP

June 6, 2011
Charged with grand theft auto and drug possession by Los Angeles police.

August 25, 2011br> Charged with indecent exposure for
Photo Credit: AP

August 25, 2011br> Charged with indecent exposure for allegedly exposing himself to women he met through ads on Craigslist for housekeepers and personal assistants.

October 20, 2011 Dykstra pleads no contest to
Photo Credit: AP

October 20, 2011
Dykstra pleads no contest to three counts of grand theft auto and filing a false financial statement, a deal he reached with the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

November 3, 2011 Dykstra agrees to fight Canseco
Photo Credit: AP

November 3, 2011
Dykstra agrees to fight Canseco (pictured) in celebrity boxing match.

November 7, 2011 Dykstra backs out on day
Photo Credit: Getty Images

November 7, 2011
Dykstra backs out on day of the fight against Canseco (pictured).

February, 2012 Judge allows Dykstra, who is awaiting
Photo Credit: AP

February, 2012
Judge allows Dykstra, who is awaiting sentencing, to attend Gary Carter’s funeral. The church where Carter's memorial service took place is pictured.

March 5, 2012 Dykstra was sentenced to three
Photo Credit: AP

March 5, 2012
Dykstra was sentenced to three years in state prison in the grand theft auto case after a judge did not allow Dykstra to withdraw his ‘no contest’ plea and fight the charges.

April 19, 2012 Sentenced to nine months in
Photo Credit: AP

April 19, 2012
Sentenced to nine months in jail after agreeing to plea guilty to one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct in the indecent exposure case.

June 27, 2012 Dykstra agrees to plea deal
Photo Credit: AP, 2012

June 27, 2012
Dykstra agrees to plea deal in bankruptcy fraud case in exchange for a lesser sentence.

July 13, 2012 Dykstra pleads guilty to reduced
Photo Credit: AP, 2012

July 13, 2012
Dykstra pleads guilty to reduced charges; sentencing set for Dec. 3.

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