Heritage Auctions – Noted American author F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives,” but the biography of All-Star outfielder Lenny Dykstra proves the statement false. Dykstra’s twelve years in the Major Leagues would contain enough drama and scandal to fill a few hundred pages of text, ranging from walk-off home runs to bench-clearing brawls to allegations of steroid use before such stories became the norm. Who could have imagined this was only a prelude to an even more fascinating tale?
As the story goes, Dykstra was shocked to learn after his retirement that a financial advisor he had entrusted with his investment portfolio had lost a tremendous percentage of his savings. Dykstra vowed that he would no longer play the victim, and immediately launched an educational campaign to learn the intricacies of the financial market for himself. A few years later, Dykstra had created a business empire from his baseball earnings, becoming the most successful post-career jock investor since Ty Cobb.
But much like the explosion of home run power that brought McGwire, Sosa and Bonds to the top of the record books, there was a dark secret behind the huge numbers. Even more quickly than it had been amassed, Dykstra’s wealth vanished, swept away by a deluge of accusations and lawsuits which seemed to indicate that his apparent financial genius had actually been a carefully crafted illusion.
Perhaps the most symbolic indication of this fall from grace is housed within the current Sports Collectibles Signature Auction, now open for bidding and closing on October 1st and 2nd, 2009. After having been forced by his dire financial circumstances to pawn the treasures of his baseball career, Dykstra was unable to pay the ticket to reclaim such keepsakes as his 1986 World Series Championship ring and a collection of his most famous home run baseballs. These artifacts will now find a new home with a Heritage collector. And Dykstra will find a new home with the likes of Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pete Rose and Ed Delahanty — a talented star best remembered for the wrong reasons.