100 Greatest Phillies: 35 – Lenny Dykstra – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 35 – Lenny Dykstra

Lenny Dykstra

Career w/Phillies: .288 AVG / 51 HR / 251 RBI / 169 SB

I was attending a Phillies game, age 4, on June 18, 1989. The Phillies were playing the Mets. The Phillies won in a good game, but that’s not what I remember. What I do remember is the Phanavision, immediately after the game, saying the Phils had traded Juan Samuel to the Mets for Lenny Dykstra. My little heart broke. Samuel was probably my first favorite player. And this guy Dykstra was coming over from New York? Poo. Lucky for us.

More than anything, Lenny Dykstra had pizazz. He was an on-base machine, leading the league in 1990 and coming in third in 1993. He hit a lot of doubles and triples, scored a lot of runs, stole bases and walked. But the three-time All Star never did it with grace. He was down and dirty, tough as … well … nails. No. 4 had his best season in ’93, scoring 143 runs off 194 hits, recording a .482 slugging percentage with his over .400 OBP. He had an insane 307 total bases and finished second in MVP voting to Barry Bonds. Sadly, he’d never quite be himself after that ’93 season (and legendary postseason). Injuries caught up to him, and by age 33, Dykstra was finished playing baseball. We all know his post-baseball life has been weird, but like Lenny, it’s always been dirty and thrilling.

Comment: Dykstra was one of the first players I emulated. Most of us 20-somethings can say the same. While Darren Daulton was brutish and handsome, and while John Kruk was meaty and scary, Dykstra was scrappy and soulful. And he could play. Oh he could play. Though Dykstra is at No. 35, two members of that great 1993 team remain on the list.



  1. Jason B.

    February 20, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    The Dude… enough said.

  2. justin

    February 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    He was also on some type of PED but still love him anyway

  3. David W

    February 20, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Thats crazy that you were there, I was there too. I was 14. I remember being in the car when I heard the trade. Dykstra was on some serious roids, but ya gotta love the dude.
    Remember that wreck he was in with Kruk and Dutch?

  4. Chapps

    February 20, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    “Great trade. Who’d we get?” That is the reason I couldn’t stand Nails, he was a great player.

  5. mde77

    February 20, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Lenny Dykstra was a steroid ridden bumb. Stink’n NY Mets hand me down.

  6. ryan

    February 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    yet another very good player that was made great (for one season) by steroids. but i still love the guy. even if in 93 he had another head growing out of his neck and biceps on top of biceps from beef roid injections. the ultimate down and dirty player. and one of the greatest stock investors ever. seriously. it’s weird. who would thunk that lenny friggin dykstra would be a legendary business man?

  7. Greg V.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Whatever it takes Dude!

  8. MikeMc26

    February 20, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Could this mean that Krukker is higher on the list than Dutch and the Dude??? That would be awesome!!!

  9. Mark

    February 21, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Biggest waste of a human. I actually went to get his autograph at a signing. I waited two hours. He decided to get up and walk out on everyone because he was angry on steroid. Rot in you know what you slime bag. I hated you. The only reason you had a great year in 93 was the steroids. You bumb…..

  10. Griffin

    February 21, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Schilling is definitely top 35.

    I guess that leaves Kruk as the other ’93 Phillie?

  11. T Marty

    February 21, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Look forward to this list everyday, and though i loved the dude, for me, Super Pete still has him beat. i was a kid watching Pete, and he embodied everything baseball mean to me, as an adult Lenny carried the same “tude, but for me Pete was the first to show me the magic.

  12. Derek

    February 21, 2009 at 8:28 am

    What has Lenny done since baseball?….everyone keeps making reference to it but I have no idea about the “weird” life he’s had since baseball if someone could fill me in that would be much appreciated….love “Hammers N Nails” though…..

  13. Justin

    February 21, 2009 at 8:40 am

    He’s made more money out of baseball playing the stock market than he made playing the game. He owns his own car wash company that has been pretty successful but he’s like a wall street guru. Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel did a story on his successes out of baseball.

  14. Bruce

    February 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I’m not that gullible to think Dykstra is a financial genius. As with all would be investors starting out as a novice, they do considerable research and seek professionals who have expertise in the field for advise. Dykstra sought and became friends with a market strategist by the name of Richard Suttmeier. He actually taught Dykstra how to read a stock chart.

    I went to an article on Suttmeier provided on Forbes.com. In that article,
    it suggests a real probability that Suttmeier may be providing stock tips to Dykstra. Suttmeier acknowledged that he e-mails daily to Dykstra a spreadsheet on stocks. Dykstra meantime is having a major problem with a publication enterprise he is involved with and has sued and being countersued. What is revealed in that article, is Dykstra’s attempt to put Suttmeier on the payroll for that magazine. That is the focus of the magazine’s company in countersuing Dykstra.

    Here is the link to that article on Forbes.com…


  15. clktwr14

    February 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Yeah, a juice head higher then the Hit King this ridiculous, Pete Rose a man who lead the Phils to the World Series victroy in 8o gets disrespected but a juice head who probably infected majority of the 93 team with that $ hit is ranked higher then Charile Hustle, disrespectful.

  16. Chapps

    February 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Are we ever gonna see a addition to the list where someone isn’t complaining about Pete the Cheat. Seriously just let it go, let it go. If you think Rose got the shaft then compile your own list and put him where ever you desire. This is Tim’s list and he placed Rose where he feels he should be, so please STFU already I’m tired of hearing about it.

  17. Tyler

    February 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Is and always will be a Met.

  18. Ari

    February 22, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Like you, Lenny was the first player I idolized. He was, is, and always will be the quintessential Philadelphian. He had swagger and grit, he drank gasoline, breathed fire, was an anchor of macho row, and gave it his all. Rocky had nothing on this guy.

    There is, to this day, a giant Lenny Dykstra poster hanging on the wall of my old bedroom in my parents house. Unfortunately he broke my heart twice – once when he got into that car accident that ended his career, and once when I found out years later that he been on steroids. That is unfortunately a side effect of the way he was – he played with reckless abandon which we all loved, and carried himself the same way off the field, driving drunk and taking drugs. No one embodies Philadelphia sports more than he does.

  19. ashmidt

    February 22, 2009 at 6:46 am

    alot of good points there ari. he was the heart and soul of the 93 team, which had to be one of coolest phillies teams in my lifetime. imho. and i have been a rabid phillies fan since 64. NAILS what else needs to be said. i dont know what happened with him and the mutts but i will be forever grateful.

  20. Grrrumpy Miner

    February 22, 2009 at 7:52 am

    I know this is a Phillies top 100,but one of the top 10 greatest Met moments was 1986 NLCS….game 3,that homer to help the Amazins win.I still hear Bob Murphys call when Dykstra planted it in the Wright field bullpen which is one of the most iconic calls in NY baseball lore.Sure its not “The Giants win the pennant” or “Gets by Buckner” but it was still a great call.Thanx for thinking of the Mets albiet unintentionally.

  21. clktwr14

    February 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Chapps, tell me how Pete Rose cheated the game when he played the game, there is no proof of him betting on the game when he played, but there is proof Dykstra took steriods in 93 when he had a career year with the Phils,he might have led the Phils to World Series but did Dykstra help them win, no he didn’t yell at Schilling to show support to Mitch, did tell the boys to try harder, did he encourage the clubhouse, no , the Phils in the late Seventies, were one piece short, then that piece was Pete Rose, with his leadership and his hard nose play, without Pete Rose, the Phils would have not won it all in 1980, that is why Pete should get more respect from Tim on this ranking of 100 Greatest Phillies.

  22. MadSon

    February 22, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    clktwr, I wasn’t referring to his playing days I just have called him that for so long it’s hard to stop. And it’s really hard to say whether or not the Phils would or wouldn’t have won without Pete because he was here.

    Just to be clear I’m not saying that I agree with all the names on this list, I never really liked Nails, but I think it’s great that Tim is putting this list together and think that we should all just post our thoughts on the current player and not the placement.

  23. Chapps

    February 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    The above post was actually from Chapps.

  24. kamala

    February 23, 2009 at 8:38 am

    I loved Lenny. I was 12 when he joined the team, and like someone else commented, remembered the day we traded samuel for him. I was so angry, as I loved juan. But as soon as lenny put on that philly uniform, I was hooked. He only had one speed – full speed ahead. I practiced sliding exclusively headfirst ap softball. I wrote book reports on his book, Nails. I got my first authentic pro jersey for x-mas in 90, and it was a dykstra jersey that I sill wear to games to this day. The accident with him and daulton sucked. The roids suck, but he was such a part of my adolesence baseball loving life, and will always be one of my most favorite phillies.

  25. junior

    March 1, 2009 at 5:07 am

    I’ve worked with the guy. He’s no genious — he’s a Douche. His ego is bigger than mine and he can barely speak. The ego though, damn.

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