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Lenny Dykstra
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Lenny Dykstra
Lenny Dykstra
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 15 of 983 players
Dykstra
Leonard Kyle Dykstra
Born: February 10, 1963 at Santa Ana, Cal.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 5.10 Weight: 160

Lenny Dykstra has been the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup 79 times, most recently on October 29, 2012.

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First Mets game: May 3, 1985
Last Mets game: June 18, 1989





Winner of National League Player of the Week award, July 13, 1986. (New York Mets)

Share your memories of Lenny Dykstra

HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:

John Pellegrino
Lenny Dykstra was certainly a great talent, a catalyst that always gave a lot more then was expected of him. It's been 13 years (1986) and it still bugs me how Met management traded away all that great talent for nothing.

Sid Finch
Notorious gambler who lost his teeth due to excessive tobacco-chewing. Loved the long ball. A great Met.

Freddy Cook
Dykstra is one of my favorite players of all time. The guy is an absolute badass. I think that his leadoff home run in Game 3 of the 86 World Series was the catalyst for them coming back and winning the series.

DICKIE SHERIDAN
I was in Scores about four years ago and Dykstra was in there late on a Friday night. He must have been hitting the Bud pretty hard, because he was trying to demonstrate to these girls how to stand your ground on a fastball up and in. One of the dancers was swinging a long, narrow cardboard tube (like for wrapping paper) while a fetching young blond hurler delivered a paper napkin to a make believe plate. Dykstra's girl immediately bailed out and took a half swing at the ball. Dykstra came out of his chair knocking drinks everywhere and got right in this horrified girl's face. "Never back off the plate! Take the shot!" he screamed. The bouncers arrived at the commotion and everything was fine, but as I witnessed this I knew deep down Lenny was serious. 100% baseball, all out, all the time, that was Lenny. Jesus, he was something. We should have never gotten rid of that guy.

Brad Rosenberg
The first time that I became cognizant of the love of my life, the Metsies, was game 3 of the playoffs in 86. I had a birthday party that day and before I left I was watching the game with my father. He was going crazy and I was starting to get into it. When I was watching the clown, I kept thinking to myself, "How is that cool team doing?" My dad picked me up from the party and rushed me home. After 5 minutes of sitting in front of the television: Lenny Dykstra the man they call Nails is waiting. Here's the pitch. And a high fly ball down the right field line. It's pretty deep. He did it!! The Mets win the ballgame. Ever since then, I've been hooked.

Kurt
Lenny has to be my all-time favorite Met. He played the game harder than anyone I can remember. I can still see his chaw flying out of his mouth every time he made his head first slide into second after stretching a single into a double. I still dread that day when I heard that he and Roger got dealt for Samuel, he could have ended with a wonderful career as a Met.

brian
The first home run I ever saw hit was by "Nails." He was the greatest, always aggressive, never say die. The tabacco, the head first slides, the lead off power. What didn't he have? The Mets should have never traded him. If they didn't they would have retired his number at Shea one day.

BIGSTRO
Along with Keith Hernandez my all time favorite Met. How in the name of Rod Gaspar do you trade a guy who would run through a forest fire to catch the third out for Juan Samuel? I distinctly remember where I was when I first heard of this inexplicable transaction: in the break room at work where I immediately flung an iron folding chair halfway across the room. Nails had few peers when the chips were down as witnessed by his virtuoso performance in the 1993 World Series for Philadelphia and his titanic 3-run blast off of Dave Smith in the 1986 Playoffs. If every player put forth this kind of effort the team would win the Series every year.

Brendan
Why we wanted to rent Juan Samuel for half a year is something that I will never ever ever understand. The Mets have never had a lead off hitter as good as Dykstra. He's the kind of guy who would crash into the center field fence making a great catch to end the first inning and then lead off the game by stretching a single into a double. He was great.

murphy
I remember in '85 they called up this kid Dykstra from Tidewater. The Mets were playing the Reds and were facing the always tough Mario Soto. Dykstra looked like a 12-year old coming to the plate. Totally overmatched in his first at bat. I thought, what are they doing with this little kid? Next at bat he took Soto deep. From that point on I realized how tough he really was. In the end, his toughness ruined his career. Ran into too many walls and dove way too many times on that concrete surface in Philadelphia. Too bad the morons running the Mets in the late '80s - early 90's decided to build around Gregg Jefferies and pushed some of their best players, like Dykstra, out of town. Davey Johnson actually said after they got Juan Samuel "I just traded for the best player in the National League." Yuck.

Jujo
Nails was all guts and glory. He was the guy you wanted to take into battle with you. The Mets purge of '89 showed how arrogant management can be. The players DO make the team.

Chris
My family and I were at the Vet for Lenny's last game as a Met. In the car on the way home we heard about the trade - my 5-year old son burst into tears! One of the all-time worst moves ever made by the Mets.

Michelle
I have been in love with Lenny from the first day I saw him with the Mets 15 years ago. I am by far his biggest fan. His home run in the 86 series is one of my favorite memories.

Mr. Sparkle
January 10, 2001
How the hell could they have traded this guy?? How can you trade a guy named nails?/ he was the nails. He had such a great attitude and was a real winner. It sucked seeing him on the Phillies!! I rooted against them in 93 because I wanted Lenny tolook back on his career with the Mets more fondly than his days with the Phillies and if he won a ring with the Phillies that probably wouldn't happen. Thank God he lost. It's a shame his career ended the way it did. I'd love to see him managing the Mets someday.

EG
February 14, 2001
Without a doubt, one of the dumbest human beings on earth. As Reggie once said about Mickey Rivers, he couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted him the C and the T.

Having said that, one of the best big game ballplayers, ever! Look at his career post-season performance and it is astonishing. The numbers don't do him justice.

Patrick Mullin
June 3, 2001
Nails is without a doubt my all time favorite Met. How do you argue with his postseason stats. Still pissed over the trade.

kinerskorner
June 18, 2001
ah yes...june 18th...the 12th anniversary of the wondrous, monumental, legendary dykstra/mcdowell for juan samuel trade. lets all observe a moment of silence. I tell you, its like standing by idly with a video camera and taping Rome as it burns from the ground up. next thing you know, jeff torborg is here, managing his way into the hall of shame (or, if you wish, the montreal organization) and vince coleman is pretending its independence day...

VIBaseball
June 22, 2001
Wrigley Field, sometime in the '80s: Nails runs into the ivy-covered bricks to make a tremendous catch, falls over lying on his back, and an incensed bleacher bum dumps a big cup of beer full-on in Lenny's face!

Then there was the time he and Mookie (in LF that day) knocked heads like two bighorn rams going for a ball in the gap. It was amazing neither of them was seriously hurt.

Joe Figliola
September 17, 2001
Who could ever forget Bob Murphy's radio call following Game Three of the 1986 NLCS when "Lenny Dykstra... the man they call Nails..." hit that game-winning roundtripper:

"LEN DYKSTRA HIT A HOME RUN! THIS BALL GAME IS OVER!"

I was at Shea for that one. It was beautiful bedlam.

Elliott
October 2, 2001
Lenny was my Grandfathers absolute favorite Met. Any time I would talk to my Grandfather he would ask me if I saw what Lenny did in the Met game today. One year for Fathers Day we got him a Met shirt with number 4 on it and he loved it. As for EG's comments on Mickey Rivers not being able to spell cat, I see Mickey on a regular basis. His kids go to the same school as my kids. He is a really nice guy and takes me to Marlin games as a guest of Andre Dawson who works for the Marlins. But your right EG, his quickness is limited to his legs.

flushingflash
October 16, 2001
By the by, that "CAT" comment referred to Terry Bradshaw, not Mickey Rivers. Although it could be one of those apocryphal quotes that never really happened.

1-DaWg
November 13, 2001
Len Dykstra single-handedly molded me into the ballplayer I was throughout my childhood, and all throughout college. Being a leadoff-hitting centerfielder, I modeled the way I played after this wonderful man. Growing up in an era where really no one chewed tobacco out in the open, Dykstra made me curious about it, and I have him to thank for my Redman addiction during h.s. & college.

It all started in 86, on my way to my grandmother's house...hearing Bob Murphy's call on the radio of the at-bat...and racing into her house to an already chaotic scene on the television as Backman lept up off 2nd base - His collision with Mookie against the Pirates showed me that you CAN play with reckless abandon and walk off the field intact. I dove for any ball I thought I might be able to get to. Lenny Dykstra: an American hero.

Scrappy
December 25, 2001
Unlike most of my fellow Mets fans, I have nothing good to say about Lenny. He was a scrawny little guy who bulked up in the weight room and thought he could hit HR's. He had great speed, but spent more time daydreaming about HR's than learning to steal bases. He finally got some sense when he went to Philly. Too late.

Joey
January 2, 2002
Lenny was easily my favorite Met. He hustled, had attitude, a world of talent and did whatever it took to win. Love the guy forever! Lennnnyyyyy!!!!!!!

Jim Snedeker
January 12, 2002
I enjoyed Lenny when he was part of the "Wally and Lenny" show. These two guys were so exciting to watch. They hustled out everything and revelled in getting their uniforms dirty. Davey Johnson called them his "tablesetters" because they would get on base and leave it to the bigger guys to drive them in.

This was baseball "they way it oughta be," as the Mets' team slogan put it that year. I'm surprised there aren't more guys like them in the league.

My roommate at the time said she noticed that Lenny seemed to have trouble keeping his tongue inside his mouth when he played. And I did lose respect for him after he became a Phillie, when he wrapped his sports car around a light pole while speeding.

Gary from Chesapeake
April 20, 2002
I'll never forget his first games in the big leagues. He was a riot of hyperactivity in the batter's box, swinging and jerking and gyrating. He looked like a poster child for Ritalin. But when his bat made contact - POW! My first son was born during the '86 Series. My mom gave him a Cabbage Patch doll named "Lenny," dressed in a Mets uniform. Looked a little like the real thing, too, without the chaw!

a mets fan
April 28, 2002
I liked him but lost respect for him when he became a Phillie. I'll never forget when David Cone threw a slider and Dykstra won the game for the Phillies. Bummer.

Gilinfiji
June 13, 2002
Loved him as a Met and regretted the fact that he never got a chance to be the everyday centerfielder. Trading him away was a major mistake. But - after reading the recent SI story on steroid abuse - is there really much doubt anymore that our man Lenny was on the 'roids? C'mon - he sure bulked up awfully fast in one off-season.

Shari
June 19, 2002
I absolutely loved Nails. Between him and Wally Backman, they were the perfect one two punch in the top of the line-up when Mookie wasn't playing. I was really upset when we traded him, but then again that's the way the story always goes with the Mets. Trading quality for garbage.

Jim Snedeker
June 27, 2002
I had the same thoughts about Lenny after hearing about the steroid issue. Against his manager's wishes, he wanted to become a home run hitter, hit the weight room and became a hulking mass over the course of one winter. I wouldn't be surprised if he had hit the medicine chest, too.

Dave
September 24, 2002
Living in upstate NY my friend and I went to Montreal to see the Mets play the Expos. While eating breakfast we saw Lenny Dykstra walk in and we attempted to wish him well for that day's game. He completely ignored us and wouldn't even look in our direction. Truly classless

Banger7
October 25, 2002
My two favorite memories of Nails were his homer in his first game (as already mentioned, he ran the bases as if he was legging out an inside the parker) and his game winner against the Astros in the 1986 NLCS. I was happy for him when he played well for that crappy team in Philadelphia, but at the same time I wished the Mets had never traded him away.

Markus
November 7, 2002
Met Lenny at a card show in 1991. Mentioned that he was on my roto-league team. He asked me when I drafted him, told him in the spring of 1990. He said "Oh, then you must've got me really late in the draft, huh?" "Yep, Lenny. You were still there in the last round and I needed a scrub outfielder." He was not amused.

One of the great Met moments was Lenny jacking one out against the Astros in `86 during the NLCS.

Richard Bradley
April 17, 2003
Everyone boy has an idol growing up, and mine was Lenny Dykstra. It's that simple. As a 9-year-old Met fan growing up in NJ in '86, it just didn't get any better than "Nails." I would watch every single Met game, and I had Lenny Dykstra's "in the batter's box" routine down pat. I would wear my prized Dykstra, #4 Mets jersey as often as possible. Of course, that all stopped in 2001 when someone told me that a) I was 24 years old, b) it was 15 years since '86, and c) that Dykstra got traded back in 1989. Yeah - um, denial rules.

Anyway, Dykstra's Game 3 NLCS homer is still my favorite Sports moment of all time - yes, even more than Game 6. Why? 'Cause it was Dykstra, baby! One more thing - I'm still convinced that Mike Scott was the Antichrist.

Carlos
April 20, 2003
Lenny was a great lead off batter. I really enjoyed watching his aggressive approach at the plate and on the field. I hope Nails is doing well, where is he by the way?

Shari
April 24, 2003
Getting rid of Nails was one of many in a long line of stupid moves the Mets have pulled over the years. This guy had chutzpah, and he played hard every game. A real winner-and a rarity in Metsland. How the hell can you trade a guy they call "Nails" anyway? I absolutely loved him as a Met.

Bobster1985
April 29, 2003
Who can ever forget that 9th-inning homer he hit in the playoffs against the Astros to win Game 4? If the Mets lost that game they probably would have lost the playoff and never gone to the World Series. When I saw that ball drop into the Mets bullpen, it was one of the most exciting baseball moments ever! Thanks for the memory, Lenny!

Steve Garton
May 16, 2003
Lenny Dykstra symbolized how everyone should play the game of baseball. Whether it be spring training, a game in May, or one in the World Series, Lenny always gave 110% on the field. The biggest shame is that because of his hard nosed play he was only healthy for a few full seasons. The possibilities of the career he might have had had it not been for injuries still frustrate me to this day. I know some may argue, but I consider myself the biggest Lenny fan there is. I'm just glad I had the chance to watch him play for as long as he did.

Dan Temple
June 19, 2003
Lenny Dykstra is by far my favorite Met of all time. I have been a fan since I was six years old, and I witnessed that famed home run off Dave Smith of the Astros. In every baseball game through the end of 4th grade, I was Lenny Dyktstra. I spat, I dove, I argued with umpires (imagine this at age 8- my mother tries to forget it) and I would sometimes (rather stupidly) try to bat in that crouch stance. My baseball camp coaches of 5 years nicknamed me Little Nails. I used to become irate when the Mets would play that boner Mookie Wilson in centerfield instead of Nails. I remember the day the Mets traded Lenny to Philly: I sobbed in my room for about 30 minutes because I had to decide whether or not I would continue with Dykstra as my favorite player or continue rooting for the Mets: I begrudgingly chose the Mets, despite the fact that I felt like they stabbed me in the back. Dykstra was a true ballplayer from the Cobb school of baseball, and those are the players I respect the most. My favorite memory is either the home run against the Astros to win it at Shea, or his leadoff home run in Game 3 of the the World Series. A truly exceptional ballplayer.

Mr. Sparkle
September 14, 2003
I heard Gary Cohen mention the immortal Lenny D tonight and it made me think what a beloved player he was. He had his best years as a Phillie but he will always be among the favorite ballpalyers of most Mets fans that saw him play. Other than Dave's comments above when he tried interrupting Lenny during his Denny's Grand Slam breakfast, every post on this page is positive, some noting his obsessive personality. Most players usually have some detractors but not Lenny. He is totally loved by Mets fans. Guys like Gooden and Strawberry and even Gary Carter and Tom Seaver don't have the total fan base in love with them the way Lenny does. If I could go back in time, that's the one thing I would change in Mets history, the Dykstra trade. OK I'd change the 2000 World Series first but after that it would be the Dykstra trade. You da nails Lenny.

Mitch45
January 23, 2004
The 1989 trade that sent Lenny and McDowell to Philly for Samuel is, in my opinion, the worst Mets trade of all time. It was worse than the Ryan trade because at the time the Mets traded Ryan in 1971, he was wild, undisciplined fireballer whose wife hated the big city. That he became "Nolan Ryan" after he started to pitch in California (where he never won anything) is not the Mets' fault.

Conversely, Lenny had already been established as a sparkplug and vocal team leader when the '89 trade was made.

In my opinion, that trade started the Mets' real slide that didn't end until the mid 1990's.

jratliff
February 2, 2004
Lenny was one of if not the most hard-working players I have ever seen. He was my generation's Charley Hustle. The home run over the right field wall in the 1986 series was awesome and all the diving catches, and running into walls and even players to catch a ball. He was the real deal, and I loved to watch him play. I also enjoyed the chemistry he and Wally Backman had. I was sad to see him go. Maybe he could come back and manage the Mets, and show them what it takes to win.

Frankie
May 14, 2004
Why all the love on this site for Lenny Dykstra? He never hit over 300 and his rampant use of steroids prompted the Mets to get rid of him. Notice how bulked up he became, how he was frequently hurt and how his career ended early. This guy is simple a gambling, tobacco chewing, roid injesting jerk.

Shari
May 22, 2004
People on this site love Lenny (myself included) because he did all of the little things to help the team win. He and Wally Backman never had a clean uniform at the end of a game. He did a lot in the playoffs and World Series in 1986. Doc Gooden and Daryl had their share of problems too and Mets fans remember them fondly for the most part.

Barry F.
May 22, 2004
Frankie, you must not remember the same guy that most Mets fans in the mid-1980's remember. Perhaps you forget: 1. His homer off Mario Soto when he first came up. 2. All the first to third-ing the Mets did in 1986. They bludgeoned teams with the Dykstra-Backman combo. 3. The triple that started the rally in Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. 4. The homer to lead off Game 3 of the World Series. 5. The homer in Game 4 of the World Series. 6. The homer in 1988 NLCS Game 5, when the Mets almost came all the way back from a 6-0 deficit. 7. The fantastic diving catches in the outfield. 8. The energy that he personified on the field. 9. The stolen bases in key spots and of course.... 10. The homer that won Game 3 of the '86 NLCS. Dykstra was a great player, a money player and the day the Mets traded him was a huge negative turning point for the franchise.

Lefty
June 5, 2004
One thing about Lenny -- he wasn't a scrub who came out of nowhere. I remember him from his high school days (I'm two years younger) in Orange County, CA. He was the most celebrated H.S. player in the county. Everyone was shocked when he chose signing with the Mets over a scholarship to ASU. Hindsight, of course, makes that decision much less shocking...

John
September 1, 2004
When will Met fans wake up and realize that Lenny rarely got it done in a Mets uniform? He struck out more than he walked, he would do stupid things like trying to bunt for a hit with two strikes. The Mets were always after him to stop trying to hit home runs. He never did learn until he left NY. As a matter of fact I remember an old interview Lenny did on TV. Lenny was given a shot to play full time for an extended period of time in 1989 when Mookie Wilson was hurt, he continued to play stupid trying to take everything deep without results.

The Mets traded him to Philly and he continued to stink that first year there. When Lenny turned it around in 1990 with Philly he was asked what changed with his approach, his reply was that he started plying like the Mets had always asked him to because he thought he would be out of baseball if he did not!

The thing is that Lenny probably would have never learned if he had stayed in NY. For those of you that had seen Lenny out at night in NYC (I did several times), he may have destroyed himself if he stayed here. Lenny always hustled on the field, unfortunately off the field as well.

Dean From Philly
February 14, 2005
Never have I seen a player come from an opposing team more embraced than Lenny Dykstra. I was a huge fan of his when he played for the Mets. I was thrilled to see him when he came here to Philly. He was one tuff ballplayer! Richie Ashburn always had kind words for "Nails", as he was his favorite player on the Phillies......and mine too!

Gary
March 3, 2005
Along with Keith, my favorite Met from those great 80's teams. Lenny would run through a wall for you. I don't remember where I was when Kennedy got shot (I was a little too young) but I remember where I was when the Mets traded Lenny; I still haven't gotten over that one!

laura dee
March 23, 2005
Ahh Lenny Dykstra ... a throwback to the good ol'days when ballplayers chewed, spat and grabbed at their crotches! A dying breed in '86, a dead breed today. These ballplayers today wear entirely too much jewelry!

CRAIG BAKER
March 28, 2005
I went to high school with Lenny and worked for him at his auto center from 1998 to 2003. He had the drive to be ball player like I have never seen. He also has been very kind to his employees where I worked. He had an employee with a drinking problem and one morning the guy came into work so drunk that Lenny took him to a rehab center. They used the employee's own junky truck. Lenny then returned his truck to the employee's wife. He was in rehab for three months, and Lenny paid the bill. The employee has not had another drink since. Lenny saved the guy's life.

MetsChica
April 1, 2005
I was pretty young when Dykstra was on the team, but I do remember being mad when they traded him away for Samuel. I also remember him for being one of the most gritty and literally dirty players around. Didn't he used to actually put dirt in his hair?

Jonathan Stern
May 21, 2005
Dykstra and McDowell for Juan Samuel. Dykstra and McDowell for Juan Samuel. Dykstra and...

I believe it was in 1985 that I attended a game in which an idiot jumped onto the field to shake hands and chat with Dude. The latter oblidged with a cheerful smile that lit up Shea and amused the fans before the idiot was hauled away. I'm not sure why that moment made me think Dykstra was made for New York, but it did.

Dykstra was gross, plain and simple. Even his own teammates found him tough to take. Picked his nose in front of the cameras, spat all over the place, scratched himself, came up to the plate with a wad of tobacco the size of a Hershey bar sticking out of his mouth. Aimed for the fences a bit too often. But you don't win without him. If you thought his performance in 1986 was awesome, check out the 1993 World Series video. A gamer, the man you want out there when it's all on the line, tough though many might find him to live with.

Harper and Klapisch's "The Worst Team Money Can Buy" is required (re)reading for all Mets fans. Here's an interesting incident. One day Dykstra showed up with his muscles bulging and his neck and head gigantic. Wally Backman looked up at him and said, "Lenny, what the **** happened to you?"

"Dude, been taking some of those good vitamins, you know?" said Dykstra with a smile.

Chris Benner
May 21, 2005
For me, my favorite Met has always been Lenny Dykstra. He symbolized everything a player should be: hardworking and very energetic. I remember going to Mets games and always waiting eagerly for Dykstra to at and run into a wall to save the game. The day he was traded was one of the worst days for me as a kid. I actually cried. Hey, I was only 10! Dykstra gave me great memories and taught me to hustle every play no matter what the situation. Thanks Lenny!

Jersey Jerry
June 3, 2005
It was on May 3rd 1985 that Lenny Dykstra first appeared in a Mets uniform, and in my mind the Mets were a changed team. Being brought up in Levittown, Long Island, the Mets, much like the N.Y. Islanders were our team.

I do remember walking around the Roosevelt Raceway flea market on a Sunday morning that year with my friend Grant, and arguing who was going to play CF. He liked Mookie, but instantly I popped back with Dykstra. So for their tenure with the Mets it was always Mookie, or Nails between me and Grant.

Lenny instantly became the Mets version of Reggie Jackson, as he was the straw that stirred the Mets drink. He was exciting, very electric on the basepaths. He played CF with reckless abandon. Lenny would do anything he could to positively change the outcome of any game the Mets would play.

I'll never forget the HR in the 1986 NLCS against the Astros.

I'll never forget the day I got to meet Lenny at a little camera shop on Long Island where he signed my Mets jersey. He was extremely fan friendly, not at all like a lot of the players we see today.

I'll never forget he and Mookie colliding in the OF.

Finally I'll never forget the trade of Lenny, and Roger McDowell to the Phillies for Juan Samuel! The Phillies? Are you kidding me? That did test my loyalties to the Mets, much like 12 years earlier when they traded Seaver. But life as a Mets fan did go on. I will say this I did root for Philly in the 1993 NLCS, and World Series because of Lenny. He was a great player, and certainly gave everything he had to us from start to finish.

m. tracey ware-chesler
December 1, 2005
The first time I saw Lenny at bat was a pre-season game in 1986. I knew it then, this kid would not only take the Mets to the World Series, he'd help them win! Taking inspiration from the novel and movie, "The Natural," I started showing up at Shea Stadium dressed as a bride with various signs urging on Lenny and the Mets! I appeared numerous times to buck up the team and fans, and traveled to away games in Chicago and Philadelphia. I appeared in papers and magazines and on TV, and I was the topic of discussion on a MTV segment featuring Lenny and a teammate. In life, I was always a bridesmaid, never a bride. I applied this to the Mets' history of almost making several World Series titles, and decided that this year, with this phenomenal player, the 1986 Mets would not only make it to the altar, they'd get to the honeymoon as well. I never met any of the Mets, specifically Lenny Dykstra, but I saw his magic and I believed.

jamey bumbalo
January 11, 2006
Lenny is my favorite player of all time. It's a cliche, but he gave 110% every game. It says it all that his uniform was always dirty. There are so many adjectives to describe him: hardnosed, gritty, scrappy, exuberant, fiery, hustling, talented, and more. I'll never forget his heroics in the '86 playoffs and World Series. I still get goosebumps whenever I watch my video of the '86 season, especially when Lenny comes to bat and Murph says "the man they call Nails." I played in a law school softball league at the time and changed my batting stance to model his--in fact, to this day, at 43, whether I'm playing softball or Whiffleball or hitting the ball with my kids' Little League team, I still bat like Lenny. What a ballplayer!

DANIEL CLAYTON
March 1, 2006
I've been a fan of Lenny's since playing with him in high school [Garden Grove High, CA] and I still think the Mets made the biggest mistake by trading him. He had to be the best center fielder by far the Mets ever had. Thanks Lenny far the memories.

Les
March 10, 2006
My favorite of all time. I was in 5th grade when the Mets won in '86. Nobody made an impression on me like Lenny. I had his poster on my wall, and when they traded him and Roger for Juan Samuel (strikeout machine) I cried. My mother asked me what was wrong, and I realized at that moment that even baseball wasn't fair. I remember the game when he dove backwards, head first into the centerfield wall, was out cold for 2 minutes, and stayed in the game. It's a rare individual who plays any game with a recklessness for their own body like Lenny.

Larry Burns
May 24, 2006
I loved the way Dykstra played the game. He was hardcore baseball. Unfortunately if you have honesty about you, you will admit that he had to be on the juice after 1986. Nobody has put on that kind of muscle mass by simply eating protein and doing preacher curls. He had to be using something. CASE CLOSED. That being said, I am a Mets "fan"atic, so while I criticize Bonds I still love all the things Lenny did for the Mets. Besides his biggest home run in 1986 which I remember like yesterday was when he was still a skinny runt. Most of his juicing seemed to impact his Phillies days. And as any Met fan knows, everyone on the Phillies is a loser, especially Von Hayes!

Putbeds 1986
May 31, 2006
Does anybody remember "NAILS"; the book written by Lenny after the '86 season? I remember that book well and I LOL when he called the Cardinals, the ******* Cardinals and NOT St. Louis. I also remember Colin Quinn mentioned that book when he was the anchor for Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. To this day, I still cringe when they talk about that infamous trade for Juan Samuel. Hope to see him at the 20th anniversary celebration in August!

Joe
June 9, 2006
I had the pleasure of playing High School Baseball and Football against Lenny. I even played Boys club Basketball against him when we were 8 years old. I have to say that I never had seen a High School Baseball player as good as him. Truly an incredible athelete. But, as great as an athelete as he was, he was also an incredibly arrogant jerk. I have personal memories of him that remind me of how selfish a person he was. Nevertheless, he really was a fantastic ballplayer.

The Motts
July 16, 2006
And here's the kicker: at the end of the 1989 season, after Dykstra's slow start with the Phils (I think he hit like .220), the Phils offered him BACK to the Mets and the Mets declined!

What an awesome postseason player he was, for both the Mets and the Phillies.

Dynamite DINO
July 16, 2006
If you get beyond the home runs that Lenny hit for the Mets in the 86 post-season, the statistics will reflect that Nails was an average player for the Metropolitans.

His hustle and his brashness were extremely colorful and I loved him - however whenever the Mets provided him with an opportunity to win the centerfield job, he always came up short.

Obviously the trade to Philadelphia turned out to be a one sided affair- but again, even when you look at his Phillies years, he had but two very solid and productive seasons.

He never reached 200 hits in any of his years in the big leagues - but he was a prime time player for sure as in the post-season he came alive like few have ever done.

I loved Lenny too, but getting beyond the chracter he was and is, Lenny was an average player throughout his big league career.

A gamer for sure - but an average player when the smoke settles and the dust clears.

5280MetsFan
September 8, 2006
Lenny was the first to hit a home run in at Wrigley field under the lights.

BILL B FP
September 8, 2006
Game 3 against the Astros I was 9 years old with my uncle and my cousin in the Mezzanine in left field. Lenny's homer not only shook the stadium, but on the car ride home on the Cross Island Parkway, miles away from Shea, car loads of fans will still chanting LENNY, LENNY. The only time I have felt Shea like that again was Todd Pratt's homer in 2000.

Michelle from Jersey
November 1, 2006
My favorite memory is of the big damn poster of Nails above my bed. I slept under Lenny for all of my high school years.

David Kuznick
November 1, 2006
Lenny will always be my favorite. I still have a teddy bear named after him. I was always a huge Mets fan and grew up in Forest Hills and had been with them through the lean years. I went to college up in Boston during the '86 series; how great do you think that was? I remember how when the Mets would play the Padres, Tim McCarver would always joke about how crazy it would be if John Kruk and Lenny were on the same team due to their batter's box antics. Sigh, be careful what you wish for. I too remember EXACTLY where I was when I learned about *the trade*; I was on the verge of tears (23 years old...) and I had to take the rest of the day off from work I was so depressed.

John
April 21, 2007
I have to plead ignorance when it came to steroids in baseball. I knew it was in football but never gave it a thought when it came to baseball. I could see the vast difference in player size in the 70ís compared to the late 80's but thought it was totally due to the fact that more players were lifting weights as time went by. In the 70ís there were still people stating that weight lifting was no good for baseball players as it would make them tight and unable to perform. If done right this is totally off the mark. There were only two players that I knew were on steroids: Dykstra was one and there is no question about it. He went on winter break a thin man and came back to spring training looking like the Hulk, which is IMPOSSIBLE without the juice. The other player is Todd Hundley; he went from a little narrow shouldered catcher to a hulking power hitter in a short time frame.

Steve L.
October 19, 2007
Although from Chicago, I was a huge Met fan in the mid-80s because of cable and WOR-TV.

Lenny was a great player and I always admired his playing style.

Starting 1988, I, my sister, and a few of my cousins all worked at Wrigley Field in Chicago for summer employment. Once after a Cubs vs Mets afternoon game I witnessed a short conversation between my cousin Kirsten and Lenny Dykstra.

Set Up: It's the summer of 1988 and the Mets/Cubs afternoon game has just finished. Kirsten, a cute 18-year-old concessions worker, is talking on a pay phone near the players exit. Lenny Dykstra is exiting the nearby clubhouse now in street clothes, but still with a giant tobacco plug still in his mouth. Lenny spots Kirsten on the phone and sees a potential date for the evening.

Lenny - (interrupts Kirsten who is still on the phone) Hi! I'm Lenny Dykstra...Center Fielder For The New York Mets. Would you like to get a drink downtown tonight?

Kirsten - I don't think so!

Lenny - (walking away slowly and sadly) OK.

It was one of the worst pick up lines to use in Chicago...ever!

Jonathan Stern
October 19, 2007
Dykstra looked terrible during the 1986 20th Anniversary celebrations. He was bloated and flabby and seemed unable to lift his head. He even had breathing problems. I hope the steroids, which we all believe he used, aren't catching up with him.

Frankie B
October 19, 2007
Before we all deify this guy, consider that he was handed the starting CF job in 1988 and the team played .500 ball. The Mets took the division once he was replaced by Mookie Wilson and Mookie went on a tear. Was a great hustling player but tended to pop up a lot as a Met. Big hits in 1986 especially in the playoff. Not to defend the Mets on what looks like the worst trade in history, but he was batting .230 that year. I would have traded him too but not for Juan (Terrible Second baseman worse Centerfielder) Samuel. He continued to stink with the Phillies. Then he took his "vitamins" and starting hitting the home runs that he could not as a Met. His career ended very early I bet because of the "vitamins". Could have been a great leadoff hitter ala Jose Reyes but was infatuated with the Home Run.

Bklyn Met
October 20, 2007
There was no bigger Roid Boy then Lenny!! The most obvious one in a sea of needles. From lean athlete to a muscle man over one off season. I wish someone would ask Mex and Ronnie about Lenny, would love to hear their reaction.

BobR
November 25, 2007
Lenny's homer in the third game of the 1986 LCS was one of the most important in Mets history. You can see it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5kT-Cjjtqk

Mike A.
November 25, 2007
First the good things about Lenny.

Saw his first game on WOR TV in '85, Friday night game against Mario Soto & the Reds in Cincy. Dykstra as a call-up had a home run and was just really determined to get a hit in any way! And the guy was willing to go through walls to get an out as well!

Loved him for what he brought in '86. '87 and '88 were solid, not spectacular, seasons for him. (Although I noticed his bulking up and increasing tendency to swing for the fences.)

Best catch I ever saw by Dykstra was in June '88 in Pittsburgh in early innings (1st or 2nd). A Pirate hit a shot to the left-center field alley, Dykstra went back but misjudged it a bit. The motion of his last-second lunge caused him to spin like a helicopter blade as he almost went into the wall... but he held on! Funny that I see shows for the "50 greatest catches in sports," half of them are baseball catches, but no footage of Dykstra's catch.

Now the bad things about Lenny.

'89 season should have been his season to be the full-time CF and a dominant table-setter in MLB...but he failed! The Dykstra that used to hit to all fields was replaced by a over-muscled, pull-hitting schlep...opposing pitchers had a field day throwing him junk pitches that he kept trying to pull, instead of going the other way. With Mookie Wilson injured, he had no excuse that he was being squeezed for playing time, yet he kept pulling away, ultimately it affected his fielding as well. From what I read, Davey Johnson got so annoyed that he became willing to trade Dykstra...and I sadly agreed.

What ticked me off was what we got in return for him...Juan Samuel!?! I was hoping for Von Hayes.

Menachem G. Jerenberg.
December 18, 2007
Probably the least surprising name to surface in the Mitchell Report... Lenny and roids have been linked together in rumors for years.

Dalkowski110
March 13, 2008
After the Mitchell Report combined with the feuds with Davey Johnson, I can see why Lenny Dykstra was traded. Another thing to keep in mind was that around the time Dykstra was traded, steroids were NOT widespread. If you roided, you were basically looked at like you were a freak. Look at Lance Parrish or Brian Downing (especially) and the criticism they garnered for suspicion of roid usage. Even Bill James said about Downing that there was "something unnatural" about him. You would NEVER see that from today's sportswriters. In fact, in hindsight, I'm glad Dykstra was traded. But not what he was traded for. And for that matter, why did we throw in Roger McDowell?

Shickhaus Franks
March 27, 2008
Did anyone see the profile of "Nails" on HBO's Real Sports recently? He looks like he's gained about 30 lbs and sounds like he has a on-going concussion. They did a profile on a guy who NEVER went to college but is a whiz at the stock market and he recently brought Wayne Gretzky's mansion to boot! He was also wearing a pink shirt; I also remember reading his book NAILS where when he was a child, him and some friends attempted to break into Anaheim Stadium on Christmas Day so they can play baseball.

JFK
April 18, 2008
Lenny looks so bad due to a back injury.

In SI there was an article on Lenny and how he wants to create mutual funds for athletes. Lenny wants to charge 18.5% commission on the deals. Anyone will tell you that is an outrageous commission. Sounds very shady to me.

For a guy who brags about all the money he is making, then why has he borrowed over 20 million in recent years?

Devin
April 27, 2008
Lenny - mediocre player, lots of heart? Actually he was a huge cheater! No question he used steroids. His only good season was in Philly. Who wants a leadoff hitter that can't stay healthy and can't score 100 runs? He only passed the 100 mark once. He never hit more than 19 homers.

He should stick to stock picking. He had a few big homers in the playoffs, yes. But all in all his overall baseball career was a bust.

CCNY
May 10, 2008
To call Lenny a mediocre bust as a player is foolishness. Any Met fan worth his salt thinks of scrappy "Nails" as the heart and soul, the poster boy of that gritty bunch, the 86 Champs.

And when Lenny scored 143 runs for the Phils, it was the highest runs scored total in over 50 years.

A little more respect, please, for Nails...

Mrs. Spunky
August 28, 2008
The only player ever to put dirt in his mouth when tobacco wasn't readily available! Holy cow you were fun to watch! It was always exciting to see him steal a base, which was often. Lenny was the team slut and not the brightest person to walk the planet. We're so proud of you for making big in the market. If you can do it, anyone can do it!

Bklyn Met
September 6, 2008
Agree, let's give Lenny some credit. Let's all bow to the steroid taking, tobacco spitting foul mouthed drunk centerfielder with a couple of good years for a team in PA! He did hit a couple of big HRs and hustled, other than that me made a jerk of himself until he was sent packing. What a waste he was; are people that blind?

Mr. Sparkle
October 9, 2008
Saw him at the Shea Goodbye celebration. He was HUGE. The car wash business must be treating him well, sitting around eating donuts all day. How does a slim guy like that get so out of shape?

Mike Rodriguez
February 18, 2009
I'm from New Jersey and definitely remember that Mets 86 season. Although I'm a Yankee fan you couldn't get away from the awesome season that the Mets had. I remember Len Dykstra that year. The crazy thing is that I remember seeing Dykstra when he was by the Phillies and he looked like Popeye after a can of spinach. At that time I told friends that I would love to work out like Dykstra because his of how huge he got compared to how he used to look. Well, we all know the rest of the story. He had a career season with the Phillies in 93 but he also looked like a mini Schwarzenegger and no one can tell me that it was natural. It was pure JUICE. Steroids ran rapid ever since.

scott r
May 6, 2009
Can't take anything away from him on the field, had some great moments and it was a horrible trade to get rid of him and McDowell, but has proven to be a classless jerk off the field. Owes millions, is being sued by everybody he has done business with including relatives, and it has to be obvious to everyone that he took steroids.

marco
December 6, 2010
My personal all-time worst trade in Mets history was Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell for Juan Samuel. I still get pangs of disgust whenever I see or hear about Juan Samuel.

When I was 12 in 1990 I was in a baseball camp at Rider College and every week we got to meet a major leaguer. I stayed two weeks in which we met Roger McDowell, and then Lenny Dykstra. McDowell was great and we all loved him. The next week Lenny shows up. He was a total jerk. During the question session in which us kids could ask him anything he came off real bad, treating us like brats who didn't know anything. Maybe that was the case but you could tell he did not want to be here with us at all. I remember a kid asking why he chewed tobacco and his answer was "I don't chew tobacco." That was it, on to the next question. Really? We're kids, not dumb!

On top of it all when it came time for him to put on a hitting show for us he punked out. On the mound was one of our coaches who pitched at the college level and was still a young guy. First pitch fastball Lenny takes a big cut and misses. Second pitch fastball Lenny whiffs AGAIN! After the second mighty whiff Lenny gives a lame excuse that his ribs are sore and he proceeds to WOW us with a bunting clinic! Dude is hitting .380 at the time.

Two days later the entire camp of kids are taken to a Phillies game at the Vet vs. the Astros. We were all sitting in the upper deck, and up comes Lenny and our entire section proceeds to boo the hell out of him. I'll never forget the Phillies fans incredulous faces as they couldn't comprehend why Lenny, who had flirted with a .400 average, and was hitting .380 at the time was getting booed at home by an entire section of kids. We booed him every time he came to the plate.

He ended up going 4-5 in that game lol.

I also saw my only inside the park HR at that game by Franklin Stubbs!

When it's all said and done, I still love the way he played and wish the Mets hadn't traded him.

Jim Eckert
February 8, 2011
Two odd memories of Lenny: When he was a Met he was facing pitcher Kevin Gross of the Phillies. Once in a great while Gross would throw a ridiculous "blooper pitch". Most batters just let it loop in in to be called a ball. Lenny was unfazed, and just waited to lash it for a hit, as if to say, "What's with this crap?"

Lenny was well liked in Philadelphia, but we were amused and grossed out by what he did to the Veteran's Stadium Astroturf. He would stand in CF on a big brown stain circular stage of his own tobacco chewin' and spewin' production. Apparently the grounds crew couldn't easily get rid of it as it seemed to build up over the seasons or at least during a season. I don't know if the grass at Shea was ever affected when he was there, maybe natural turf just soaked it up and hid it?

community chest
March 22, 2011
When he first came up in '85, I had the impression that Lenny was about to burst into tears in the batter's box whenever a ball was thrown by him. Whether he swung or not, he had a baffled, hurt, perplexed expression on his face every time the ball landed in the catcher's mitt. He eventually lost it, but I'll never forget that overwhelmed look he had during those first months.

Shickhaus Franks
March 28, 2011
Hey Mets fans; do you want to feel how we're getting older? Lenny's son Cutter (yes that's a weird first name but then again the late rock great Frank Zappa gave his kids weird first names) was just traded from the Milwaukee Brewers organization to the Washington Nationals for Nyjer Morgan. I can't believe it's been almost 25 years since his walk-off HR in Game 3 of the 1986 NLCS.

Gets by Buckner
June 9, 2011
Unfortunately, another Met on the 1986 roster who made bad choices in life. It's so hard to believe it was 25 years ago this fall that he hit the game winner in the NLCS. I hope he gets back on track. He was a great ball player. I hated the Dykstra and McDowell for Juan Samuel deal in 1989. The second worst trade in Mets history after Tom Seaver's.

Old Fashioned Met
July 27, 2012
The trading of Lenny to the Phillies was the prime example of the downfall of the Mets. It was something that made the Wilpon ownership look like that of the Paysons. I recall that the deal was made on Father's Day, one that had to be ruined for every male Mets fan that had children. It turned out that Lenny had much left, leading the Phils to a pennant in 1993. Juan Samuel, meanwhile, was of no value to the Mets.

Under the original ownership, Met fans were given the "Midnight Massacre" when Tom Seaver was sent packing. The second regime provided what I call the "Father's Day Fiasco" with the departure of Nails.

Shickhaus Franks
February 12, 2013
Just turned 50 this past Sunday. (He's 50? Where does the time go?) Currently in prison but he's probably proud that his son Cutter (WHAT A FIRST NAME) who is currently in the Nationals organization (UGH!) is now engaged to Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow from The Sopranos) and her father is Steve Sigler who runs the Men's Senior/Adult Baseball League in Melville, NY. Talk about the SIX DEGREES OF NAILS!









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