February 16, 2009
Big league dreams hold an almost unrivaled power in sport and if the comeback bid of a 49-year-old who already has 10 pro seasons under his belt can't convince you of that, well, I'm not sure what would.
According to the Boston Globe, Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd (left) believes he is still throwing at such a high level that he would like a short tryout with a major league team so that he can have the chance to emulate his idol, Satchel Paige, who famously pitched into his 50s and beyond.
From the Globe:
"Satchel being my idol and knowing he didn't come into the game until he was in his early 40s, that's always been in the back of my mind," said Boyd. "Now, I've been given back the fastball I once had. I want to play.
"I spoke to some people about it. If I was given an opportunity, I'd love to work my way back. I think it would be good for the game. It shows me baseball is a forgiving game."
Boyd retired in 1991 with a 78-77 career record, but recently threw at a Red Sox fantasy camp and said his velocity was in the 90s. He said he felt comfortable throwing his changeup and curve and that his shoulder felt stronger than ever.
Still, it's hard to believe that Boyd's chatter is anything more than words spoken to a reporter willing to listen and transcribe. Though Boyd has been actively playing the past few years with his barnstorming team and an independent minor league team in 2005, he hasn't pitched in 18 years. To put this in perspective, here's a short list of other pitchers who retired in 1991: Ed Whitson, Rick Reuschel, Pascual Perez and Andy Hawkins.
But I suppose the great thing about baseball is that you're still allowed to have hope, even when the cruel realities of the game are evident. So here's to Oil Can, a man who's right when he says: "I have nothing to lose, and all a major league team has to lose is 15 minutes. Give me 15 minutes and I'll show I can still pitch."