Saturday, May 25, 2013

Unknown Heroes Before My Time Pt 5: Oil Can Boyd

You know that anyone with the nickname "Oil Can" is likely to be a fan favorite and Boyd certainly was.  The skinny pitcher had a big delivery and showed a lot of emotion on the mound, celebrating after strikeouts and innings.  Unfortunately when I started watching baseball, Boyd had already moved on to the Montreal Expos, so I never really got to see him in his prime.

Boyd came up with the Red Sox in 1982.  He arrived in Boston to stay in August of 1983, at a time in which Boston was developing a number of good, young pitchers.  Boyd was another in a line of homegrown Red Sox pitchers that included Bob Ojeda, John Tudor, Bruce Hurst, Steve Crawford, Al Nipper, and Roger Clemens, a run that the team has not come close to matching since.  Boyd was probably the most entertaining to watch of the bunch.

Boyd made a big impact fairly quickly as he tied for the team lead in victories with 12 in 1984.  1985 was his  best season with the Red Sox as he went 15-13 with a 3.70 ERA and 154 strikeouts.  He was very good again in 1986, going 16-10 with a 3.78 ERA and 129 strikeouts.  Unfortunately injuries would start to take their toll after that and he did not pitch another full season with the Red Sox.

After three injury plagued seasons, Boyd moved on to Montreal in 1990 and had a very good season.  In 1991, he split the season between Montreal and Texas.  It was his final season in the Majors.  He attempted a couple of comebacks, but never made.  Boyd was just recently pitching in the independent leagues.

Boyd's status as a fan favorite has begun to get more notice in the last few years as he has started showing up in sets.  He appeared in 2009 in Sweet Spot, along with having autograph cards and he is slated to appear in this year's Archives set with an autograph.  I will have to try to pick it up.

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