Oil Can Boyd‘s story is a fascinating one, but it’s also an incredibly sad one.
The former Red Sox pitcher gave a deeper look into his troubled life on ESPN’s E:60 on Tuesday night, as the right-hander detailed his excessive drug use, particularly during the 1986 season.
Boyd told ESPN’s Buster Olney that he was first introduced to crack by a drug dealer during the 1986 season.
“The first part of my career I snorted cocaine,” he said matter-of-factly. “Then I found out how to smoke cocaine. And that’s when things changed. I was doing it every damn day of the ’86 season.”
Boyd also told a story about how during a May 11 start in Oakland — after he smoked in the bathroom before the game — some of the rocks that had been placed in his hat fell onto the field when his hat came off.
The 1986 season was a wild one for Boyd, who was suspended by the Red Sox after he found out that he had not made the All-Star team and thus, would not receive a roster bonus. That season, of course, also happened to be the year the Sox came within an out of winning the World Series before eventually losing to the Mets.
Boyd, who had arguably his best season in 1986, was scheduled to pitch Game 7 of that series, but John McNamara instead opted to start Bruce Hurst after rain pushed Game 7 back a day.
Boyd also had some controversial comments about Jackie Robinson during the E:60 piece.
“I’m not real thankful to Jackie at all because I’m me, my style of baseball, the way I played it in the major leagues transpired from the Negro Leagues,” Boyd said. “So that’s why people found that I was a hot dog or I was flamboyant.
“Now the kids don’t even know the ballplayers anymore, it’s so commercialized. And they wonder where the black ballplayer went. Well, black ballplayers went to jail. In the last 20 years, that’s where they are.”
How did you get up there?
“We gutted it out, man. You know what we are man? We all grit, all grit man. All grit and balls man, that’s what it is.”
–Kevin Garnett on his team’s Game 2 win in Atlanta
— RJS (@videopuckhead37) May 2, 2012
She’s doing it wrong, I think.
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