Two former New York Mets teammates may soon be squaring off in a courtroom after former star pitcher Ron Darling accused ex-outfielder Lenny Dykstra of hurling racist taunts at a Boston Red Sox pitcher during the 1986 World Series.
Darling made the allegations against Dykstra, who's faced numerous legal problems since hanging up his spikes, in his new book, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game.”
Currently serving as one-third of the Mets' television booth, Darling claims Dykstra yelled racist insults at Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd during the third game of the '86 World Series, according to an excerpt published in the New York Post. The Mets won the thrilling series in seven games, but they secured their first victory in Game 3, winning, 7-1, at Fenway Park.
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 the New York Post. He lamented not doing anything about it -- and said, if anything, the team may have benefited from Dykstra's behavior.
“In fact, it resulted in a momentum shift that probably turned the Series around for us, and like most of the other guys on the bench, I stood and cheered at the positive outcome,” wrote Darling, who went 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA in three starts during the series.
Dykstra, who batted .296 with two home runs in the 1986 World Series, appeared on ESPN radio’s “The Michael Kay Show” and defended himself against Darling’s claims. He called Darling’s allegations “flat out lies,” according to NJ.com. He also added that if he was shouting racial epithets toward Boyd, someone else would have heard him and be able to back up Darling's assertions.
Dykstra told the radio show he plans to sue Darling over the allegations, according to the New York Post.
“I’m going to sue him and the publisher,” he said. “I wrote a book myself. I had 30 lawyers calling me fact-checking everything. There is not one person to back this up, because you know why, it’s not true. It’s all a lie.”