Oil Can Boyd

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Oil Can Boyd
Oil Can Boyd in 2008
Born: (1959-10-06) October 6, 1959 (age 59)
Meridian, Mississippi
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 13, 1982, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1991, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Win–loss record78–77
Earned run average4.04

Dennis Ray "Oil Can" Boyd (born October 6, 1959) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. Boyd played for the Boston Red Sox (1982–89), Montreal Expos (1990–91), and Texas Rangers (1991). He batted and threw right-handed.

His nickname has been reported as coming from his beer-drinking days in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, where beer is referred to as "oil."[1] However, in a September 2012 interview, he said that wasn't strictly true; it was actually "rot-gut whiskey" from the neighborhood moonshiner.[2]

Major league career[edit]

1982-89: Boston Red Sox[edit]

Boyd attended Jackson State University. He was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 16th round of the 1980 amateur draft, and made his debut in the 1982 season. He pitched 10 years in the majors before blood clots in his right arm ended his career.[3] According to the Inside Baseball portion of the April 27, 1987 Sports Illustrated, Boyd listed Haiti in the '87 Red Sox yearbook as his favorite vacation destination.

In a 10-season career, Boyd collected a 78-77 record with 799 strikeouts and a 4.04 ERA in 1389.2 innings.[3]

From 1983–85 Boyd won 31 games for Boston, with 15 victories in 1985. In the same season, he posted career-highs in games started (35), complete games (13), strikeouts (154) and innings pitched (272.1).

In 1986, he won a career-high 16 games for the Sox. Boyd started game three of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets.

1990–1991: Montreal Expos[edit]

Boyd signed with the Expos as a free agent after the 1989 season.

In 1990 he won 10 games for the Expos and compiled a 2.93 ERA.

When the Rangers acquired him from Montreal during the 1991 season, it looked like a deal which might lead to a division title, and though Boyd's work with the Expos before coming to Texas wasn't great (6-8, 3.52), it was good enough for the pitching-poor Rangers; however, in 12 starts he posted a 2-7 record with a 6.68 ERA (the highest of his career) and allowed 81 hits in only 62 innings. Boyd was a free agent when the season ended, and after turning down some offers for relief duties, he retired.

1992–2005: Minor leagues[edit]

Between the 1990s and 2000s, Boyd pitched in the minors, Northern League, Puerto Rico and In 1993 he played for the Industriales de Monterrey Mexico. In 2005, he came out of retirement to pitch for the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League.

Personal life[edit]

In November 2005, Boyd was indicted by a federal grand jury in Mississippi for threatening a former girlfriend (who was also a business associate) as well as her son. On November 14, 2005, Boyd surrendered to F.B.I. agents in Tupelo, Mississippi.[4]

In February 2012, Boyd admitted to extensive use of cocaine while he was playing in the Major Leagues and said he was often under the influence of cocaine while pitching.[5]


  1. ^ "Oil Can Boyd". Boston's Pastime. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Oil Can Boyd Opens Up About 1986, Bobby V., and How He Really Got His Nickname". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  3. ^ a b ed. by David Pietrusza .... (2000), Baseball : the biographical encyclopedia, Kingston, New York: Total/Sports Illustrated, p. 115, ISBN 1-892129-34-5CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link).
  4. ^ "'Oil Can' Boyd surrenders after indictment". MSNBC.com. November 14, 2005. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  5. ^ "'Oil Can' Boyd Admits To Pitching Under Influence Of Cocaine". CBS Boston. February 9, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.

External links[edit]