Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd is planning a return to professional baseball this summer at age 45, this time with the
independent Brockton Rox.
Rox manager Ed Nottle announced at the annual Brockton Rox Hot Stove Banquet on Friday that Boyd had been invited to spring training in May.
"I will make the ballclub," said Boyd, who attended the banquet. "I still love to play baseball."
Boyd hasn't pitched professionally since 1997, when he played for another independent professional team, the Lynn-based Massachusetts Mad Dogs. Boyd
said he's still got plenty left in his right arm, adding he hit 89 mph in an exhibition game last summer in Cambridge, The Enterprise of Brockton
"Heck, when I was pitching in the World Series in 1986, I was throwing 89," Boyd said. "That's good enough to get it done."
Boyd was 16-10 with a 3.78 ERA for Boston in 1986, the best season of his 10 year major league career, which ended with Texas in 1991. Boyd was known
as an emotional player and threw a highly publicized tantrum after he was left off the All-Star team in 1986. Nottle, who managed Boyd with the
Pawtucket Red Sox, said Boyd loves the game more than almost anyone he knows.
Boyd, who's been living in his native Mississippi, began talking to Nottle about a comeback a month ago. Nottle said Boyd's return is no publicity
"If he isn't good enough, he won't make the team, but I think he will," Nottle said.
Nottle added that he told Boyd he would win 10 games for Brockton this year. He said Boyd responded, "I'll win 12."