How Lenny Dykstra lost it all

In the past year, Dykstra went from living in a $17 million mansion to sleeping in his car and an abandoned airplane hangar.

Lenny Dykstra used to be rich, but now he’s homeless, said Alejandro Lazo in the Los Angeles Times. The former baseball All-Star, who earned the nickname “Nails” for his win-at-all-costs style of play in the 1980s, is now $37 million in debt. “I’ve been fighting for my life,” he says. “Each day comes by and you wonder what you’re going to do, where you’re going to sleep, and how you’re going to eat.”

After his baseball career ended, Dykstra remade himself as an entrepreneur with a successful chain of car washes, which he later sold for $38 million. He also pitched himself as a financial guru, picking stocks on an Internet site, and launched a jet-chartering company and a magazine geared toward retired athletes. The latter two ventures proved disastrous, forcing him into bankruptcy and destitution.

In the past year, he went from living in a $17 million mansion he purchased from hockey star Wayne Gretzky to sleeping in his car and an abandoned airplane hangar. “I was a wanderer, dude,” says Dykstra. “Like Gandhi. He lived out of a bag.” To get by, he’s had to sell off his possessions, including a 1986 World Series ring he won with the New York Mets. “You have some loyal friends who help,” he says, “but they can only do so much. I’m not the kind of person to go to people and ask for money.”

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