Baseball players like Lenny Dykstra don’t exist anymore. The hard-nosed center fielder gritted, crashed, and slugged his way to a World Series trophy with the New York Mets in 1986, and onto three All-Star teams with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1990s. His balls-out playing style earned him the nickname Nails—as in “Tough As”—and his questionable off-the-field behavior scored him a reputation as being a more than a little bonkers.
“Lenny was so perfectly designed, emotionally, to play the game of baseball,” his former Mets teammate Billy Beane said in Michael Lewis's 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. “He was able to instantly forget any failure and draw strength from every success. He had no concept of failure. And he had no idea where he was.” Dykstra retired from baseball in 1996, but he still has no concept of failure, which is why he recently spent nine hours digging through the garbage outside a Jersey Mike’s, trying to find the stupid-expensive dentures he’d accidentally thrown away.
According to NJ Advance Media, Dykstra went to a Jersey Mike’s in Linden, NJ for lunch on Saturday afternoon, but he popped his dentures out because he thought the bread on his sub was too hard for his teeth. This is something that makes sense if you’re Lenny Dykstra.
Unfortunately, he wrapped his teeth in a napkin, and mistakenly tossed it in the trash on his way out. “When I went back [to look for them], the workers said they threw all the napkins in the garbage,” he told the news outlet. “I told them there was no fucking way I was leaving without my fucking teeth.” (Dykstra lost his original teeth as the result of an alleged beating by sheriff’s deputies when he was serving time for auto theft in a Los Angeles county jail; he laterfiled—and ultimately dropped—a lawsuit against the officers).
Those dentures cost a reported $80,000, so Dykstra decided that he’d better start digging. When darkness fell, he took an Uber home to get a flashlight, and the driver—who is also a part-time pro wrestler named Sprinkles the Clown—ultimately ended up picking through the trash with him. “I stayed for about two and a half hours,” Sprinkles, whose non-clown name is Jonathan Grbac, said. “What happened was it started raining and it was already 2 a.m. so he says ‘Screw it, I’ll come back when it stops raining in the morning.’”
By 5 a.m., Dykstra was back at it behind the Jersey Mike’s. “Nails updating on my search,” he said in a video he posted to Twitter. “I broke it down to these two bags. I’ve got gloves, but what I’ve just learned is all the waste that goes out there. There’s some good food in here, man!”
After what he says was a nine-hour search, Dykstra found his missing teeth and, again, because it’s Lenny Dykstra, he had no problem putting them right back in his mouth. “Nails never fails,” he said in another, slightly more sanitary Twitter video. “All night, all morning, I just found my teeth. Believe it.” (He tagged Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman, and someone named King Cock in that clip).
After spending nine hours digging through the trash, it’s probably safe to say that Billy Beane was right: Lenny Dykstra has no concept of failure. That thing about him not knowing where he is might be accurate too.