Lenny Dykstra: Ex-MLB Great Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Grand Theft Auto

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterMarch 5, 2012

Lenny Dykstra in 2008
Lenny Dykstra in 2008Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Lenny Dykstra has been sentenced to three years in state prison on grand theft auto charges.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Dykstra was sentenced by a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge after she refused to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Dykstra filed paperwork to withdraw the plea last Wednesday.

Dykstra was arrested in April of 2011, initially pleading not guilty to 25 criminal counts after police raided his home and found several drugs, including cocaine and synthetic human growth hormone.

The judge in Dykstra's case argued that the theft scheme carried out by him and two co-defendants showed, in the words of the ESPNLosAngeles.com report, "sophistication and extensive planning." Prosecutors accused Dykstra and the co-defendants of leasing and then selling high-end cars by claiming credit through a phony business.

Dykstra changed his plea to no contest in October, leading prosecutors to drop 21 counts. He is also scheduled to stand trial for federal bankruptcy charges later this summer.

Dykstra broke into the majors with the New York Mets in 1985, helping them win the World Series in 1986. He hit .296 in the 1986 series against the Boston Red Sox, and his leadoff home run in Game 3 at Fenway Park proved to be one of the series' most crucial hits.

He would go on to make three All-Star appearances in 1990, 1994 and 1995. He also finished second in the National League MVP voting in 1993 when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies. That year he hit .305 with a career-best 37 stolen bases.

Dykstra became an entrepreneur after he quit playing baseball. In 2009, ESPN.com reported that he was worth $60 million at one point. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the summer of that year at a time when he was facing over 20 different lawsuits.

Follow zachrymer on Twitter