If you were unaware of who Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd was a couple of months ago, you likely learned about him after his revelation that he was under the influence of cocaine for about two-thirds of his Major League starts. Boyd, who pitched 10 seasons in the majors, said he stayed up all night at every ballpark with cocaine pumping through his system. Oil Can touched on that and other topics during his E:60 special that aired on ESPN Tuesday night. He also shared his controversial thoughts about Jackie Robinson.
According to the Boston Globe, Buster Olney asked Boyd what he would say to Robinson if he ever met him in another life. Here’s how the former Red Sox hurler responded:
“Why’d you do this? I don’t really think that Negro League baseball shoulda been broken up. It was — it was individuality … 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 league transpired from the Negro Leagues. So that’s why people found that I was a hot dog or I was flamboyant.”
Obviously, an African-American player openly admitting they are not thankful to Robinson is a very big deal and something we are not accustomed to hearing. Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers signified the beginning of the end for the Negro Leagues and opened the door for African-American players to play in the Major Leagues. While most believe Robinson helped end another form of institutionalized racism, Boyd apparently feels as though Jackie is responsible for the downfall of a league he loved.
Below is a video of Oil Can talking about how he got into cocaine: