Lenny Dykstra has sued former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Publishing Group over a passage in the pitcher’s new book accusing the outfielder of directing racist comments toward Boston starter Oil Can Boyd during the 1986 World Series.
Dykstra, sentenced seven years ago to prison on both federal and California state charges, filed suit Tuesday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Darling’s “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game” was published April 2 by St. Martin’s Press, which is part of Macmillan.
Darling wrote Dykstra was “one of baseball’s all-time thugs” and was in the on-deck circle at Boston’s Fenway Park before Game 3 of the 1986 World Series while Boyd warmed up “shouting every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in his direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff.” Darling went on to call it “the worst collection of taunts and insults I’d ever heard — worse, I’m betting, than anything Jackie Robinson might have heard, his first couple times around the league.”
Dykstra’s lawsuit called Darling’s account a “fictional portrayal” and “false and self-serving.”
“No such racist tirade ever occurred,” the lawsuit said.
Darling, a 58-year-old SNY broadcaster, declined comment before the Mets’ game against Minnesota on Tuesday night. St. Martin’s Press declined comment, spokeswoman Tracey Guest wrote in an email.
Dykstra, now 56, was sentenced to three years in a California state prison in March 2012 by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig after pleading no contest to grand theft auto and providing a false financial statement. He was sentenced to 6½ months in prison that December by U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson after Dykstra pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets and money laundering. The sentences were to be served concurrently.