FOX 29 Interviews Former Phillie Lenny Dykstra

FOX 29 Interviews Former Phillie Lenny Dykstra

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In 1993, Lenny Dykstra was one of the stars on a Phillies team that went to the World Series. Since his career ended on the field, he has experienced the highs and lows of life.

FOX 29's Mike Jerrick sat down with Lenny for an exclusive interview to talk about what has happened and what is next.

"Being here and being able to see [my son] Cutter in person is awesome," says Dykstra.

Sitting in the middle of the crowd at a minor league baseball game in Delaware recently was a proud father. However, this is not your typical baseball dad.

Twenty years ago, Lenny Dykstra was one of the most recognizable faces in Philadelphia. He was the catalyst of the Phillies 1993 National League championship team.

"I just had some great times there, great memories...I was really, really blessed to be able to play there," says Dykstra.

But when the Phillies honored that team recently, Lenny was not there. Going to the game would have been a violation of his parole, following a six-month prison stay after pleading guilty to three felonies, including bankruptcy, fraud and money laundering.

"I really wanted to come. I really wanted to be a part of it. Like I said, the fans of Philadelphia and city of Philadelphia hold a special place in my heart," says Dykstra.

In the years since he left Philadelphia and the game, Lenny's life has been nothing short of a roller coaster. After success with several business ventures, Lenny's net worth was estimated to be $58 million as recently as 2008. But by late in 2009, he filed for bankruptcy. His wife Terri also filed for divorce after 23 years of marriage.

In December 2012, the player known as "Nails" was sent to prison.

"I guess you can say peaks and valleys you know... just made some bad decisions," says Dykstra. "It was a rough time, you know, but it helped me get what's important[.] It made me realize what I lost. You know what I mean, with my family.

"Were they accepting...did they dislike you for it?" Jerrick asked.

"I didn't want to do this interview about my family," Dykstra replied.

He was hesitant to talk about it at first, but the more he talked, the more it was clear how important rebuilding the relationship with his children and ex-wife Terri is to Lenny.

Getting a chance to see Cutter play in-person was an opportunity Lenny would not pass up. Lenny was only able to make the trip to Wilmington to watch Cutter because he was paid to appear at a card show in New York and an autograph signing in King of Prussia on the same weekend. His probation only allows him to leave California if he is earning a paycheck.

"I'm talking to my kids everyday, helping with baseball and school, really grateful to be part of their life again," says Dykstra.

"Do you think the two of you, you and Terri, could ever be together again," Jerrick asked.

"I think there is a chance that could happen. I am going to take it slow. I'm sure she is too. She is a great person, always been a great person... a great wife," Dykstra replied.

Thirty years ago, Lenny Dykstra was in a similar position as his son, a minor-league baseball player trying to make his way to the majors.

Now, Lenny is trying to help Cutter realize his dream and rebuild his own life in the process.

"What happened, happened...hopefully I can learn from it and some other people can learn from it...I still have the last third of my life to live," Dykstra said.

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