Did you hear the one about a former baseball player and a clown from New Jersey? No, well buckle up. This story is one for the comedy circuit.
Lenny Dykstra, a former major league outfielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, was digging around in a dumpster outside a Jersey Mike’s Subs shop last weekend trying to find his $80,000 dentures. Dykstra was eating a sandwich at the store in Linden, New Jersey and took his false teeth out because the “bread is so hard on those subs.”
According to NJ.com, the ex-ballplayer forgot about the dentures and left them on the table in a crumpled napkin. He didn’t realize what he had done until he got home. Naturally, he jumped in the car and drove the two miles back to recover the dentures.
“When I went back, the workers said they threw all the napkins in the garbage,” Dykstra told NJ.com. “I told them there was no f—- way I was leaving without my f—- teeth.”
According to NJ.com, the dentures were specially made with bone marrow and valued at $80,000. Because why wouldn’t they be?
Dykstra, nicknamed “Nails” for his grit and determination during his playing career, spent nine hours digging in a dumpster behind a Jersey Mike’s Subs shop in Linden, New Jersey. He posted the whole ordeal on Twitter and enlisted the assistance of a guy known as “Sprinkles the Clown.” In the video, Dykstra calls the sandwich shop “his favorite place to eat in the world.”
“I was there for nine hours. I thought the cops were going to arrest me for trespassing,” Dykstra told NJ.com. “I wasn’t leaving my teeth there in the dumpster. No way was I leaving them.”
No kidding. Dykstra has been without real teeth since 2012 when jail guards allegedly beat him severely while he was serving time in a Los Angeles prison. He filed a lawsuit, but it was eventually dropped in 2016.
Back to Sprinkles the Clown. Dykstra’s accomplice has been identified as Jonathan Grbac, per NJ.com. He’s a part-time Uber driver and professional wrestler who picked the 56-year-old up last Saturday. He hadn’t met Dykstra until that night. Grbac is more famously known around New Jersey as a tag-team champion wrestler, hence the Sprinkles the Clown alias.
“I picked up an Uber rider and it was Lenny,” Grbac told NJ.com. “I picked him up in the back of a Jersey Mike’s. He had to go home and get a flashlight and some other stuff. Then we picked up another guy and came back. Then we spent some time picking through some garbage and some food.”
Dykstra retired from baseball in 1998 after failing to return from a debilitating back condition. He was attempting one last comeback with the Phillies that year, but the health risks were too great. Dykstra walked away, as gracefully as he could.
He hit 81 career home runs and left with a .285 batting average. In addition, he was a three-time All-Star and World Series champion with the Mets in 1986. He nearly won the MVP award with the Phillies in 1993.
“I probably could have faked them out this year and suffered and been a part-time player, a pinch hitter,” Dykstra told CBS News. “That’s not how I want people to remember Lenny Dykstra.”
Instead, Dykstra will be remembered more for his antics off the field than for his heroics on it. He has been a frequent guest on the “Howard Stern Show” mainly for his numerous run-ins with the law, including grand theft auto, indecent exposure, sexual assault and federal bankruptcy.
In 2018, he was arrested for allegedly holding a gun to an Uber driver’s head and making terroristic threats. No weapon was found and all charges were eventually dropped in the case, according to The Associated Press.
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