The 1980s MLB Cocaine All-Star Team: When Baseball Was Paranoid & Addicted

Oil Can Boyd is in the news this week over some comments he made about being coked up during most of his MLB career career. The former Red Sox starter has a book coming out in which he talks about the coke use and how he would have won 150 games if he could ever get some sleep. Now into his 50s, Boyd is talking about a culture that dominated MLB during the 1980s. Today, we’ve compiled our all-star roster of coke users from the era & it’s a beast team.

First of all, keep in mind that these names were either suspended by MLB, arrested for coke possession, arrested for trying to buy coke or failed a drug test for coke. In other words, these were coke users. It’s no secret that hundreds of players were coked out of their minds and things even came to a head in 1985 with the Pittsburgh Drug Trials.

It was during those trials that fans learned of how bad the cocaine use was in baseball.

• Tim Raines testified that he slid headfirst as to not break vials of coke in his back pocket

• John Milner (Pirates) testified that he bought $200 of coke in a Three Rivers bathroom stall – during a game.

• Milner also testified that back in the 70s he took a red juice from Willie Mays’ locker and believed it to be a stimulant.

• The Pirates mascot was buying coke and introducing players to dealers.


Eventually the trials would result in seven drug dealers being sentenced for selling to players. Several players were suspended by the commissioner’s office and we are left with incredible stories 25 years later.

All-cocaine Team Batting Order:

1. Tim Raines

2. Willie Wilson

3. Pedro Guerrero

4. Darryl Strawberry

5. Dave Parker

6. Keith Hernandez

7. Dale Berra

8. Darrell Porter

9. Joaquin Andujar

DH: Paul Molitor (late addition to the team; was using in 1981)

Closer: Steve Howe

Saddest Story Of Cocaine All-Stars: Porter. In a 1981 Associated Press report on drug abuse in sports, Porter tells how he was a straight-laced kid during high school but things went bad quickly once he was sent to the minors after being the Milwaukee Brewers #1 draft pick in 1970. Booze turned to pot, to quaaludes and by 1979 he had a $1,000 per week coke habit. He died in 2002 at age 50 due to cocaine use.

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