Later, wearing nothing heavier than a sweater on a freezing afternoon, he led a group of traveling companions across the square fronting Notre Dame. He had discovered an artist. "Dude has no arms, man," Dykstra said. "He has to paint with his feet!"
The artist turned out to be a dwarf confined to a wheelchair—and he had both of his arms and feet. Copies of artwork similar to his might have been found at a nearby tourist shop at a cost of $4; but for two drawings of Paris by the dwarf, Dykstra paid 850 francs, roughly $150. These were authentic, Dykstra reasoned, drawn by hand. While urging Schueller to talk the dwarf down a few francs, Dykstra allowed another artist, this one a long-haired man from Italy, to draw his portrait. Because the easily distracted Dykstra spent most of the ensuing three minutes with his back to the guy, the result was a $30 caricature that looked more like Don Zimmer.
The next day it was on to Amsterdam, where Dykstra was better known because baseball is popular in Holland and highlights of each World Series game had been broadcast there. He gave lots of interviews and took part in a press conference during two days in Amsterdam, showing much more patience than you would have expected and going out of his way to explain things.
On the second day Dykstra bought his wife, Terri, a three-carat diamond ring, whose price he got down to $41,000, with an extra one-carat diamond thrown in. That night he visited the Hard Rock Cafe, where more than 100 people were crowded around the door, chanting, "Lenny! Lenny! Lenny!" By now it was becoming clear that while he was promoting baseball, he was also promoting Lenny Dykstra.
"My goal is to build a financial empire," he proclaimed later that night in a hotel bar. "It has to start somewhere. It's just like these old buildings over here; they all had to start somewhere."
He will launch his first business this winter with the Lenny Dykstra Car Wash in Corona Hills, Calif. Baseball memorabilia will be on display there, and employees in baseball uniforms will hand-wash the cars. His long-term dream will be helped along, he hopes, by a contract extension; he wants to negotiate a new $25 million deal with the Phils. Then perhaps he'll develop a high-rise condominium in Florida—he isn't sure just yet. "I know people laugh about all the stuff I say and do," he says. "But believe me, before I take a dirt nap, I'm going to build myself a financial empire."
Grown in the Bordeaux region, Château d'Yquem is perhaps the most difficult wine in the world to produce, requiring an extraordinary summer of heat and an extraordinary autumn of moist, misty mornings to properly rot the grapes. Because each grape is picked individually only after it has sufficiently dried and shriveled on the vine, it takes 10 to 15 painstaking tours of the vineyard to pick the crop.
The great wine would not be available at La Tour d'Argent if not for André Terrail, who, as the proprietor during World War II, bricked off his supply of Château d'Yquem to hide it from the Germans. Even so, only five bottles from the 1937 and '38 vintages remained in the restaurant's cellar two weeks ago. And one of those would not have been consumed by the American baseball player had not Dykstra taken the advice of his limousine driver and jumped at the chance to dine at one of the world's most celebrated restaurants, where he spent more than $13,000 at dinner that night.
As Lindsay Jones and his wife, Sharie, were getting up from the table, Dykstra announced for all the restaurant to hear, "We're getting ready to pour the 16,000-franc dessert wine; you'd better get some bench."
"We were just going to tour the wine cellar," Jones said.