Great Baseball Nicknames- Oil Can- Dennis Boyd. One of the great nicknames of the 1980’s in baseball was that of Dennis Boyd a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The nickname was what he was always called -no one ever called him Dennis- it was always Oil Can Boyd. Oil Can Boyd pitched for the Red Sox from 1982-89 before finishing up with Montreal and Texas in 1990- and 1991- his best years were as a Red Sox. In 1986 when the Red Sox went to the World Series he had his finest season going 16-10 with an ERA of 3.78. His career record was 78-77 with a 4.04 ERA.
How did Dennis Boyd from Meridian, Mississippi [ home town of country music legend and pioneer Jimmie Rodgers] get the nickname ‘Oil Can’? There are two versions- one says he got the nickname while pitching at Jackson State-where they called beer- oil. Boyd would drink beer after games. The other version is back in his home town of Meridian where they called beer- oil- that Boyd had the reputation of being able to down one six-pack after another like it was nothing. He was also known to drink a lot of beer before games.