Jose Canseco was one of my favorite baseball players when I was growing up. There was nobody more exciting to watch as he had the rare ability to hit monstrous home runs and steal bases with ease. Watching him become the first player in baseball history to reach the 40/40 mark was incredible and the next season he followed that up with a win in the World Series. Canseco was well on his way to baseball immortality!!!
The first ever ‘Money’ card I ever purchased was his 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie card. I paid $11 for this card. At the time, $11 was a lot of money for a 13-year old kid especially when I could have bought 22 packs of cards for the same amount of cash. But it was certainly worth it as a player of Jose’s caliber does not come around often and I was enjoying being able to witness his greatness.
Today, Canseco is nothing short of the biggest laughing stock in all of sports. I cannot remember any instances in which a player held in such high regard during his playing days is ridiculed now on a daily basis. Maybe OJ Simpson??? Jose’s desire to remain in the spotlight and feel the roar of the crowd again must be so strong inside of his soul as he has put himself into situations strictly to get his name in the media.
Below is a list of Jose’s wacky adventures from just the last few years. I am sure that I am missing some; but he’s a hard guy to keep track of…
- participated in VH1’s Surreal Life reality show in which he wore women’s lingerie
- authored 2 books about steroids and baseball while naming several high profile baseball teammates and stars that he personally knew used steroids
- publicly challenged any players that he claimed were steroid users to testify in court that he was wrong knowing that they would be committing perjury
- has publicly stated that it was wrong to incriminate players and teammates linking them to steroids and wishes he had not done so(only after doing it twice)
- fought Vai Sikahema in a celebrity boxing match in which he was destroyed in less than 1 minute
- is scheduled to fight Danny Bonaduce in another celebrity boxing match on January 17,2009
- arrested in October 2008 for attempting to bring fertility drugs into the US from Mexico to restore his testosterone levels that have been killed off due to massive amounts of steroids in his system
Look, there are a ton of former athletes that struggle with the loss of their fame once they retire from professional sports. Being held in such high regard by peers and fans would be a huge ego-boost for all of us. But there is a right way and a wrong way to handle yourself when your career is over. Look at all of the guys that have done it right… Emmit Smith became a sports commentator and hit mainstream America while dancing on television. Jerry Rice too, and now Warren Sapp. Howie Long has done movies and is a huge part of Sunday NFL broadcasts. If Canseco had done it right, he could have easily put himself into a position like these guys have. Who wouldn’t want to hear from one of baseball’s heroes from the 80’s and 90’s while watching a game?
Look, I love Jose Canseco the baseball player. He is quite possibly one of the most talented players to play this game in the last 20 to 30 years. And when my sons are older I will tell them stories about him the way that my dad told me stories about Mickey Mantle. I’ll just leave out all of the after-baseball years…
Unfortunately, Jose Canseco has not done too much right since leaving a sport he claims to love. It will only be a matter of time before we see this again….