Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

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 will touch on that and other topics when his E:60 special airs on ESPN Tuesday night, including how he feels 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.

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25 Comments:
  • I understand exactly what Boyd is saying. The Negro Leagues had more charisma and style than the professional 'white' leagues. Most whites feel that intergration was best for the 'Negro' ... However, Blacks didn't need forced integration by the government. We needed protection from the violent racism from white society. MLK was a great but misguided leader. African-Americans needed protection and education, not integration. With protection from the violence and unequal justice of white society and EDUCATION, white America would have integrated out of need. They would have been forced to realize that the black professional (in any profession) was at least as good or better than his white counterparts. ... The great Jim Brown echoed those same exact sentiments. ... And he was right.
  • Really??? White America NEEDED blacks to be integrated? Wow.
  • Boyd is having flashbacks from his drug days. Does it say anything about his character that he played while zonked on drugs? What a way to support your teammates, loser.
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • I totally agree. He DID NOT diss Jackie (poor headline)! He simply stated his opinion and tried to explain his style of play. People need to stop reading into stuff and stop putting words into other people's mouths.
  • He freely admits to constant drug use and wasted some much talent,anyone who feels he was a good player has no morale convictions! He was a poor excuss for a player, a man and a human being!!! Its easy to comment on Jackie when you or him could not carry his jock strap!
  • Being a drug addict doesn't make him a poor excuse for a human being. He made bad choices and suffered the consequenses for it. Do your bad choices make you a poor excuse for a human being? ... Or just an idiot?
  • Wow, you just keep staying classy Mr Boyd
  • Can is stuck in the 70's and missed out on the really big paychecks of today. How much did the Negro Leagues pay? Sure, it was fun and great to watch and read about, but we all, not just the Blacks, Whites or Hispanices better and take a minute and think of what baseball might of been without Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Frank Robinson and all the others? Thanx Jackie !
  • Boyd is right. Jackie Robinson was the reason the Negro Leagues died. That was the plan all along. If you know the history of the NL you will see that they outdrew the Major League attendance stats by thousands. Branch Rickey was a shrewd businessman who knew that intergration and elimination of the NL would benefit (white) baseball. He accomplished just that. As more and more of the best NL players were swayed away from their league the attendance dwindled and the rest is history. Intergration was bad for the game. Just imagine baseball as it used to be. The rivalry would be fierce and attendance would be off the chain. Both leagues would benefit and the true world series would be played between the two leagues to crown the real world champion. Sorry Jackie!
  • [not displayed: comment from locked account]
  • What a stupid remark. If the Negro Leagues were making more money than why would you go to a league that made less. I understand what Boyd was saying not what boospie is saying.
  • The Negro Leagues teams won more than they lost in the exhibitions against the white major league teams. And both leagues went all out to win. That speaks for itself.
  • I am African American and I hate baseball but I was furious when I first saw this headline. After I read the article and his stance I did understand what he was saying. He does have a point. Jackie going over to the Dodgers did signal the end of the Negro League. However, it did show the world that African Americans could compete in the "Majors".. I cant say if it was worth it or not... What I will say is that at this point and time African Americans have no interest in baseball..The cocaine issue is a whole other story....Soccer will take over baseball at somepoint..GoChicago Fire!!!
  • The Negro league certianly didn't offer the pay level of the MLB. I'm pretty sure Oil Can wouldn't have taken the pay cut if he had the choice.
  • in a sense and history proves the so called equality of the races has destroyed the black community. while the people who could moved out of the community leaving the poor it crumbles. when i was bussed into a inner city school in 1970. one thing i noticed the day i got off the bus was the place was a dump. broken bottles, litter and delapidated buildings. what i remember was the library and all the history of the community. before the 60's and all this rainbow garbage. the community was just like any white community. they had community centers, pools, ball fields. hundreds and hundreds of kids having fun. it also had small business's. when i got there the same community was a dump in just over 10 years. thats what forced integration of the 60's brought. it also mirrors what boyd was talking about! did learn how to fight, never fought a day in my life till that trying to survive gangs of blacks baiting all of us. i learned nothing that year but how to survive. helped me wrestle as it made me more focused about suroundings. still do to this day.
  • It's not about the pay, it's about the attendance. If the Negro league has higher attendance figures and you want to get their attendees, the only way to bring the NL attendees to the non-Negro league is to bring the players to the NNL. If you bring the players, then you bring their audience. Capsice?
  • any other time I can't put NEGRO on these pages.. things like NEGRO PLEASE F U NEGRO but today it's okay hmmm NEGRO PLEEEZSE
  • Boyd's perspective is certainly an angle I've never thought of. However, I'm confused about his statement that his style transpired from the Negro Leagues, when the league was long gone before Boyd was even born. Am I missing something?
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