Oil Can Boyd: I’m not thankful to Jackie Robinson for breaking up Negro Leagues

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:

Around The Web

  • Kibosh

    Can you say ingrate?

  • http://twitter.com/Ballertainment The Lady GM

    Yes, I’m somewhat taken aback to hear someone speak unfavorably about Jackie Robinson.  But, Mr. Boyd is entitled to his opinion.  Some folks are uncomfortable with change.  It rocks their boat.  I guess that’s what happened with Oil Can, and is a reason why he turned to drugs.  

    History shows and tells us that desegregation was not the most popular concept.  Now we see that some whites weren’t the only ones who felt that way.  

    Thanks, Steve.  I am going to check this E:60 segment out.

  • Anonymous

    What a fool.  First and foremost, Jackie Robinson was not solely responsible for breaking up the N* Leagues.  Branch Rickie ad basic economics of the professional game helped make it happen.  What Jackie did was display class and dignity that first year in the face of forceful and nasty racism.  

  • Anonymous

    Typical nig.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6UCXH33TRFBMQVH236HMX7Y6KE First namejack Bines

    One thing about  opinion we all have one, we all must learn to keep it simple not hate……..

  • mhearns1

    So one of the sacred cows got criticized, Robinson broke the color barrier yes, but he swings a wooden bat and hits a ball, it’s not like he invented a vaccine to cure something or brokered peace between two countries.Jackie Robinson was probably one of millions of blacks who have gone through similer experiences but he gets singled out because he hits a baseball.?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ELNS76HVGYUASQATQDDWHMMTVI Lamar

    Though what Boyd said isn’t popular it’s not all that unusual to hear that from older Black Americans, most of them who are no longer with us. I can remember going to the barber shop and hearing stories about the Negro League and the great players that played in the league.
    There was a sanction of Blacks who felt that they didn’t need the validation of MLB to prove that they were good.

  • http://twitter.com/LordCthulhu1 Lord Cthulhu

    Are you really so PC that you referred to it as the N. League? I’d bet anything you’re a white middle class suburban democrat.

  • Anonymous

    Not only that, but black newspapers, and businesses of all kinds went under after that. It’s a shame that things like this have to happen, but progress isn’t always pretty. Today’s Southern League, a AA level of Minor League baseball, was once a Negro League. What do Willie Mays, Bo Jackson, and Micheal Jordan have in common? They all played for the Birmingham Barons. 

  • Anonymous

    But that was the start of the integration of American Society. It was a bold first step that somebody had to take. And Branch Rickey had to pick the right guy to do it, because of the spotlight that was going to be on him. A lesser man would’ve crumbled in Jackie’s shoes.

  • Anonymous

    Oil Can, if I remember correctly, was a nickname given to him in his younger days because of his love of beer. His friends’ referred to beer cans as oil cans, hence the nickname.

    I remember him as something of a temperamental jerk. I’m not surprised at the stories about him. He was supposed to start either game 6 or 7 0f the 1986 World Series against the Mets, but the Red Sox passed on him, for good reason, he’d blown up on the mound. 

    He was pretty good pitcher when his head was right. But he wouldn’t have faired any better in the Negro Leagues, so he’s deluding himself.

    There was a basketball player in the 70’s and 80’s named John Lucus and he had a serious cocaine problem, but Lucus was likeable, educated, and wanted help that numerous people were willing to give. He had some bumps along the way, but it worked out for him…last I heard, so things may have changed. But the point is that Oil Can wasn’t like that. He was combative and resentful and that turned people off.

  • Anonymous

    The point being the Negro League had dozens of black players many of whom could play the game.  MLB let in one at a time over many years.  What about the others who could play?  They just lost their jobs.

  • http://twitter.com/kenosando Ken Sanders

    His reasons were very selfish as to why he didn’t appreciate what Jackie did. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7TK4EFDPDZF4DCXV5OO4EMSOKM battle born

    Who was it that referred to him as “dip-stick Boyd” all those years ago?  Some things don’t change.

  • Anonymous

    Hitting a baseball had nothing to do with it.  Jackie Robinson put his life on the line (there were death threats) to integrate baseball.  He played and conducted himself with remarkable poise and class.  He did broker peace between two “countries” – white and black America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1387547260 Robert Skovholt

    There is a smarter way he could have expressed his view– be thankful that a guy like Jackie Robinson endured intense scrutiny and racism that resulted in huge opportunities for many other black players, but at the same time you can still revere the Negro Leagues and bemoan the decline of these leagues that offered a unique platform for black players to play their brand of baseball……Oil Can just isn’t educated and self aware enough to say it that way.

    Wouldn’t it have been fun to have a World Series with the MLB winner vs the winner of the Negro Leagues ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1067437261 Andrew Tepper

    Really, maybe Oil Can had heard about the Negro League but by the time he was playing or being considered for pro ball the Negro League was long gone as we know it… perhaps Oil Can should donate some of his past earned salary to improving inner city baseball clinics because he made far more money due to Jackie Robinson’s efforts than he ever would have made in the Negro Leagues… a poor personal judgement on a completely different generations struggle for equality

  • Kibosh

    I thought he was he was a gun-toting redneck hillbilly republican and was just censoring himself from the word he really wanted to say; oh wait that’s probably you.

  • Anonymous

    I would have typed it but I thought it would get censored.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6HJDQWV4XQSDNWYY7IHTKJ2WII Roscoe p Coltrane

    you sound almost as intelligent as Oil Can.
    almost i said. you keep working at it and you will
    catch the Can one day.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6HJDQWV4XQSDNWYY7IHTKJ2WII Roscoe p Coltrane

    OilCan. i thought it was his nickname because he threw so much gas on so many fires.. like dumping a barrel of oil…
    he was mediocre and a non issue in the history of baseball.

  • Anonymous

    I want to say Pete Rose…but I do remember that.

  • Anonymous

    Oil Can wasn’t the sharpest dip-stick in the engine of life. When asked about the old baseball stadium in Cleveland, which was refered to by many as, “The Mistake by the Lake” because it was such a cold stadium, he said, “It’s always a mistake to build a stadium by the ocean.”

    I guess the real question regarding this issue is: “Who cares what Oil Can Boyd thinks?”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4ZWZ46JNBIYPAAQV5DOHP3AZKA g-man

    Oil Can Boyd is an idiot, could he have endured what Jackie went through for him and other Black ballplayers. He would have never made this much money if it had not been for Jackie, no cocaine no nothing. This guy is a jerk?

  • video clips

    Oil can is a crack head. No one ever takes the word of a crackhead seriously. Non-story. And he’s trying to sell a book, to buy more drugs.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BBYPV6KKH65XFGRUJIOUO5ICQ4 James

    Not that simple… But a simple mind cannot grasp this..

  • Anonymous

    I wonder how he feels about Eddie Klepp?

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    No, he got it from drinking beers. The beer cans were called “oil cans.”

  • Anonymous

    But the Negro Leagues were raided and its team owners did not receive fair compensation.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/E5TI42ZL23KQIRVPFM5VDBB3UM Terry

     Robert you said a mouthful, and if you keep talking like that you would help a lot of these guys both black and white understand that life together could be sweet if we get over our selfish ways. I am a 44 year old black male and I look for the good in everyone. Both Jackie and Oil Can Boyd had their good and so do you, keep it up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Craig-Battersby/100001699982727 Craig Battersby

    all i know is thank god for john mcnamara & oil can boyd.  not sure if it is hurst or tudor , but if they had stayed in the game instead of bringing in oil can the mets wold not have won the world series in 1986.

  • Anonymous

    So we can call it the Negro League but we can’t call them negroes?  Is that about right?

  • Anonymous