A former New York Mets great's allegations about ex-teammate Lenny Dykstra making racially charged comments during the 1986 World Series have divided members of the infamously wild championship team.
Ex-pitcher and current Mets announcer Ron Darling claims in his new book, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game,” that Dykstra yelled racial insults toward Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd while Boyd was on the mound during a crucial Game 3. The Mets entered the game down 0-2 to Boston, but took four of the next five games to win the series in dramatic fashion.
Darling, who was 25 at the time, said Dykstra, then 23 years old, yelled “every imaginable and unimaginable insult and expletive in [Boyd’s] direction — foul, racist, hateful, hurtful stuff” and probably worse than “anything Jackie Robinson might have heard.”
The insults hurled toward Boyd were “right up there with one of the worst, most shameful moments I ever experienced in the game,” Darling wrote, according to an excerpt published in the New York Post. He lamented not doing anything about it -- and said, if anything, the team may have benefited from Dykstra's behavior.
Boyd talked about the allegations Tuesday on WFAN’s “Carlin, Maggie and Bart” show.
“I’m warming up for a ballgame and I’m preparing to go out and try to get the New York Mets out one at a time and that’s all that’s on my mind. To see any kind of gestures made toward me coming from the opposing dugout, I didn’t see anything like that nor was I looking for anything like that. This is all new to me,” said Boyd, who added he believed Darling’s allegations, according to the Post.
Darling’s former teammates Dwight Gooden, Kevin Mitchell and Daryl Strawberry have all said they didn’t hear Dykstra make any racially charged comments toward Boyd. Keith Hernandez, currently Darling's partner in the Mets TV booth and also a member of the 1986 team, told the New York Post he remembered Dykstra yelling at Boyd, but didn't recall any racial epithets.
Dykstra has denied the allegations and threatened to sue Darling and the publisher of his book.