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Ex-baseball great Lenny Dykstra files for bankruptcy

July 8, 2009 | 12:42 pm

Celebrity financial crash of the day: Former Major League Baseball star and Lake Sherwood resident Lenny Dykstra filed for bankruptcy protection today in Los Angeles, listing less than $50,000 in assets -- and debts totaling between $10 million and $50 million.

The 46-year-old Dykstra, who played for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies, retired in 1996. He has since been involved in a number of entrepreneurial ventures, including a string of car washes, an investment column for Thestreet.com, and a service called the Players Club Operations that offered credit cards, charter jets and other services to athletes.

In April, he bragged to espn.com that he was worth $60 million.

Evidently not.

Dykstra In the bankruptcy petition he said he owes JPMorgan Chase & Co. $12.9 million and Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide and credit-card units a combined $4.2 million, according to Bloomberg News.

Dykstra also owes almost $1 million to jet charter services, about $342,000 to celebrity lawyer Daniel Petrocelli and $229,000 to literary agent David Vigliano, Bloomberg said.

From the espn.com piece in April:

"And after thumbing through a series of lawsuits that stretches from coast to coast and chatting up his business associates, you wonder if this aspiring financial Pied Piper is, indeed, living in a fantasyland. You wonder if the dream, built on glitz and greed in a time of economic uncertainty, is a teetering house of cards. You wonder if anyone this side of Bernie Madoff has ticked off more people -- business partners and family, alike -- than Lenny K. Dykstra.

"The lawsuits suggest that one of two things is going on here: Either Lenny hates to pay his bills, or he's a financial train wreck.

"Just in the past two years, Dykstra has been the subject of at least 24 legal actions, including 18 since November. Three suits hit the courts on Jan. 29. He's been sued by publishers and print companies, by three different groups of pilots and by a Maryland-based financial and litigation consulting firm that offered expert testimony on his behalf in an earlier lawsuit. He's even been sued by a die-hard Mets fan who was the best man at his wedding 20-some years ago, though that New York investor claims there is no bad blood."

Dykstra’s Lake Sherwood home, which he bought for $18.5 million in 2007, began to show up in pre-foreclosure-activity listings in April.

-- Tom Petruno

Photo: Lenny Dykstra. Credit: Amy Sussman / Getty Images

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