Friday, March 25
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
My friend told me a few weeks ago that Jose Canseco would be in town for a boxing match. I had planned on attending the fight but thought it might be easier to graph the weigh-in. I arrived at 8:30 p.m. sharp but wasn’t sure of the venue’s location. I walked around for a few minutes when I saw Canseco with a gorgeous blonde. I was in the process of taking out the four items I had brought for him — I had gotten him before and recall him being a good signer so I was hoping to get everything done — when a friend asked me what I was doing. I told him what I thought was obvious. “I’m going to get Jose to sign my photo, magazine and two baseballs. What do you think I’m doing?” In his typical sarcastic tone, he replied, “Well, jackass, that’s not Jose.” Said me: “What do you mean, it’s not Jose?” Said him: “Well, that’s his twin brother Ozzie. I guess he’s in town to support his brother.” Made sense to me. I knew how difficult it was to tell them apart because I had graphed them back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
I waited 45 minutes for the weigh-in to begin. The person my friend said was Ozzie was actually Jose. My friend whispered to me, “Sorry dude, I guess I was wrong.” I waited until the end of the weigh-in and had Jose sign an 8×10 and a classic Beckett magazine. He also took a picture with me.
Jose Canseco: 2/2 (Beckett, 8×10) in blue Sharpie with picwith
Here’s where things get odd. A minute or two before Jose signed my items I watched as he signed baseballs for a couple. The woman, followed by her man, approached Jose and asked if he would sign their ROMLBs. They were obvious professionals, as both asked if Jose would mind adding the inscription to his graph. Said Jose: “What do you mean ‘inscription’?” Said the man, “You know, write ‘MVP’ and then the year you won it.” Jose proceeded to write “MVP.” Said the man: “Would you mind writing the year you won it?” Said Jose to the man: “What year did I win it?”
In 1988, Canseco was named the American League MVP yet this night he didn’t remember the year he won it? He had to have been drunk or high for that to have been true, and he appeared sober from everything I could tell. I got my items done but soon forgot about the night’s events. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon (March 27), when I got a phone call from the same friend who gave me the first tip that the events of Friday night were again brought to my attention.
“It really was Ozzie,” my friend told me. Seems the fight that was scheduled for Saturday never took place. Ozzie, standing in as Jose, demanded from the promoter $5,000 in cash as opposed to a $5,000 check, which had already been made out to Jose. The promoter refused, saying that for business purposes he would have to give him a check. An agreement must have been reached because a shirtless Ozzie finally did enter the ring. It took minutes for the crowd to figure out the ruse. It couldn’t have been difficult: Jose’s back is adorned with tatoos while Ozzie’s is not. Police were called, with Ozzie receiving a police escort out of the Hard Rock.
I may have gotten some of the details wrong so I’ll refer you to The Miami Herald’s version of events. Here’s the link:
Here are some of the pictures I took during Friday’s weigh-in: