A beloved 1980s Major League Baseball star says he used cocaine not only a few times, but a majority of the time he was pitching.
The Boston Globe reports Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, who pitched eight seasons for the Boston Red Sox, admitted he was under the influence of cocaine two-thirds of the time he was on the mound.
Boyd has penned a tell-all book, "They Call Me Oil Can: My Life in Baseball," which will hit bookstore shelves in June.
"Some of the best games I've ever, ever pitched in the major leagues I stayed up all night; I'd say two-thirds of them," Boyd said to WBZ radio. "If I had went to bed, I would have won 150 ballgames in the time span that I played. I feel like my career was cut short for a lot of reasons, but I wasn't doing anything that hundreds of ballplayers weren’t doing at the time; because that's how I learned it.
"It was something that I had to deal with personally and I succumbed. I lived through my life and I feel good about myself. I have no regrets about what I did or said about anything that I said or did. I'm a stand-up person and I came from a quality background of people."
While drug testing is a huge issue in the sport today, Boyd says back in the 80's he was free to use any chemicals he wanted.
"I never had a drug test as long as I played baseball," he said. "I was told that, yeah, if you don't stop doing this we're going to put you into rehab, and I told them ... 'I'm going to do what I have to do, I have to win ballgames. We’ll talk about that in the offseason, right now I have to win ballgames.'"
Boyd believes despite his 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, he could have played longer had he not been the victim of racism.
"The reason I caught the deep end to it is because I'm black. The bottom line is the game carries a lot of bigotry, and that was an easy way for them to do it," Boyd said. "If I wasn't outspoken and a so-called 'proud black man,' maybe I would have gotten the empathy and sympathy like other ballplayers got that I didn’t get; like Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Steve Howe. I can name 50 people that got third and fourth chances all because they weren't outspoken black individuals."
Boyd finished his career with a 78-77 record and 4.04 ERA for the Red Sox, Expos and Rangers from 1982 to 1991. He pitched for Boston in the 1986 World Series that everyone remembers for Bill Buckner's butchering of a ground ball that helped rally the New York Mets to the championship.
Listen to Oil Can Boyd explain his cocaine use to WBZ's Jonny Miller.
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