Friday, February 16, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #80 Dennis Boyd

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, P, #23 (1982-1989)

60 Wins, 56 Losses, 145 GS, 4.15 ERA, 571 K, 259 BB

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, one of 14 children born to Negro League star Willie James Boyd, was a 16th round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1980.

A native of Meridian, Mississippi - where beer is called oil (hence the nickname) - Boyd was drafted out of Jackson State University and made his debut in Boston after pitching just 67 games in the minor leagues.

A staple in the Red Sox starting rotation for much of the 1980s, Boyd won 60 games for Boston, the bulk of them coming in 1984-86.

In 1986 baseball fans witnessed the full spectrum of emotions that made Oil Can Boyd one of the more colorful personalities of his generation.

After being left off the All-Star team (he was 11-6 at the break), Boyd threw a highly publicized tantrum that got him briefly suspended from the Sox and landed him in the psychiatric ward of a hospital.

Boyd was supposed to start Game 7 of the World Series against the Mets, but rain prevented him from making that start, and manager John McNamara elected to pitch Bruce Hurst instead. Boyd cried when he learned of the decision.

After leaving the Red Sox in 1989, The Can signed with the Montreal Expos, where he did a splendid job in 1990, and was on his way to a fine 1991 campaign when he was traded to Texas, where his year, and ultimately big league career, would end.

In 1993 Oil Can resurfaced, grabbing headlines in a way only he knew how. In April, Boyd, through his lawyer, threatened to sue the Red Sox for not inviting him to spring training that year. The lawyer said in view of the Red Sox's mediocre pitching prospects for the coming season, he could find "no apparent baseball reason for the team's rejection of Boyd's overtures."

Alas, Boyd would not make it back to the Major Leagues, although his pitching days were not over yet.

From 1994-97, Boyd pitched in various independent leagues before taking an eight year hiatus, returning to pitch for the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League in 2005. At the age of 45, Oil Can was 4-5 with a 3.83 ERA in 17 games for Brockton.

Unfortunately, Boyd's lone season for the Rox was likely his last in professional baseball. He hasn't taken the mound since he was indicted by a Mississippi federal grand jury in November of 2005 for allegedly making five threatening phone calls to a former girlfriend and her son.


Cormac said...

''A native of Meridian, Mississippi - where beer is called oil (hence the nickname)''

It's true, you dolearn something new every day!

Nicely done

Unknown said...

Hey why isn't Pedro Martinez in this group? A record of 117-37 2 cy young, in 7 years not good enought?

Viagra kaufen said...

I lie his nick name Oil Can LOL

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