Dykstra files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK - Lenny Dykstra, the former star centerfielder for the Phillies and Mets, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Reuters news service reports.

Reuters' report comes from court records.

Dykstra, 46, has no more than $50,000 in assets and between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities, according to a petition filed Tuesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Central District of California.

Jonathan Hayes, one of Dykstra's lawyers, had no immediate comment.

Dykstra's filing comes in the wake of some 20 lawsuits he faces tied to his activities as a financial entrepreneur, including The Players Club, a glossy magazine he had helped launch, according to published reports.

The bankruptcy petition shows several banks among Dykstra's largest unsecured creditors, including units of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp.

Dykstra, whose lifestyle included a lavish house, a jet and a Rolls-Royce, says he owes millions of dollars to his 20 largest creditors, many of them banks. His filing follows at least two dozen lawsuits over his business and financial dealings.

Walter Hackett, also one of Dykstra's lawyers, told Reuters that the bankruptcy became necessary because of a planned foreclosure on a home that Dykstra bought from Wayne Gretzky for $17.5 million in 2007.

Dykstra, known as "Nails" and the "Dude," played 12 seasons with the Phillies and Mets before retiring in 1996 with a lifetime .285 batting average and 81 home runs.

He won a World Series with the Mets in 1986 and helped lead the Phillies to the National League pennant in 1993. The Phillies lost to Toronto in the World Series that year after defeating Atlanta in the 1993 National League Championship Series. Dykstra was runner-up in the NL MVP voting in '93. *