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José Canseco

Canseco attending the Birthday Party of Katie Lohmann at S-Bar, Hollywood, CA on 01/27/2009
Outfielder / Designated hitter
Born: July 2, 1964 (1964-07-02) (age 45)
Havana, Cuba
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 2, 1985 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 6, 2001 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .266
Home runs     462
Runs batted in     1,407
Career highlights and awards

José Canseco Capas, Jr. (born July 2, 1964) is a former outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball and the identical twin brother of former major league player Ozzie Canseco. After retiring from baseball he has competed in boxing and mixed martial arts.


Early years

Canseco was born in Regla, Cuba, and left Cuba with his cousins and family when he and his brother were infants. They relocated to the United States, with José and Ozzie growing up in the Miami, Florida area, and attending Coral Park High School. Canseco did not attend college, having been drafted in the 15th round by the Oakland Athletics in 1982.[1] He first received high regard for his remarkable power at his early minor league stops with the Idaho Falls A's, in Idaho Falls, Idaho and the Modesto A's in Modesto, California. Home run blasts of over 500 feet were common, and the fans would chant "Loot, loot!" to cheer him on.[2] Canseco started the 1985 season with the AA Huntsville Stars and became known as "Parkway Jose", for his long home runs (25 in half a season), that went close to the Memorial Parkway behind Joe Davis Stadium.

MLB career (1985-2001)

Oakland A's (1985-92)

In 1985, Canseco won the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award, and was a late season call-up for the Oakland A's, playing in 29 games in the major leagues in 1985. He made an immediate splash in 1986, his first full season, being named the American League's Rookie of the Year after connecting on 33 home runs and 117 runs batted in. In 1987, Mark McGwire joined Canseco on the Athletics; McGwire hit 49 home runs that year and was also named the American League Rookie of the Year. Together, he and Canseco formed a fearsome offensive tandem, known as the "Bash Brothers."

In 1988, Canseco became the first player in major league history to hit at least 40 homers and steal at least 40 bases in the same year by hitting 42 home runs and stealing 40 bases. After that, the street in front of his former high school was named after him. That same year, he helped the Athletics to the World Series but they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. Canseco was unanimously named the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1988, with a .307 batting average, 120 runs scored, 124 RBI, 42 home runs, and 40 stolen bases.

In 1989, Canseco missed all but 65 of the regular season games with a broken wrist, but he still managed to hit 17 homers as the Athletics won their first World Series since 1974, beating the San Francisco Giants in four games. The 1989 Series was interrupted before Game 3 by a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Canseco came back to form in 1990, hitting 37 homers despite being hampered in the latter part of the season by what would become a recurring back problem. The A's returned to the World Series once again, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds in four games. Canseco continued to be productive, hitting 44 home runs in 1991, but his career hit a plateau, and in the face of frequent injuries and controversy he never accomplished what many felt he was capable of.

Texas Rangers (1992-94)

On August 31, 1992, the A's traded Canseco to the Texas Rangers in the middle of a game and while Canseco was in the on-deck circle for Rubén Sierra, Jeff Russell, and Bobby Witt.

On May 26, 1993, during a game against the Cleveland Indians, Carlos Martínez hit a fly ball that Canseco lost sight of as he was crossing the warning track. The ball hit him in the head and bounced over the wall for a home run.[3] The cap[4] Canseco was wearing on that play, which This Week in Baseball rated in 1998 as the greatest blooper of the show's first 21 years, is in the Seth Swirsky collection. After the incident, the Harrisburg Heat offered him a soccer contract.[5] Three days later, Canseco asked his manager, Kevin Kennedy, to let him pitch the eighth inning of a runaway loss to the Boston Red Sox; he injured his arm, underwent Tommy John surgery, and was lost for the remainder of the season. In the 1994 strike shortened season, Canseco again returned to his former status of power hitter with 31 home runs and 90 RBI in 111 games. Canseco also showed some speed with 15 stolen bases and posted his highest batting average since his MVP season of 1988.[citation needed] He was named comeback player of the year in 1994. If the strike had not shortened the season, Canseco could have been in the running for his second MVP award.[citation needed]

Final seasons (1995-2001)

After playing with the Rangers from 1992-94, Canseco moved on to play with the Boston Red Sox. Canseco played for the Boston Red Sox from 1995-96, being more or less a factor in the 1995 ALDS. Following a less than successful return stint with the A's in 1997, Canseco did have a productive season again with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998, when he hit 46 home runs and stole 29 bases, the most he had stolen since the 40 he stole in 1988. He won the AL Silver Slugger award, but his comeback was missed by most fans because of the home run race in the National League between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.

Canseco went to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 , and was having a tremendous season (34 homers in 114 games; and was named to the AL All-Star team) when he injured his back and was lost for the season. He was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees down the stretch in 2000, but was not a factor at all in the postseason, making only a token appearance in one game of the World Series against the New York Mets.

Jose played with the Chicago White Sox in 2001, after being cut by the Anaheim Angels in spring training and spending half of the season with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League. In 2002, Canseco was signed by the Montreal Expos but was released prior to the regular season. Canseco retired in May 2002. He made a brief comeback attempt in 2004, but was not offered a spot with the Los Angeles Dodgers after a spring tryout. His 462 career home runs rank him 32nd on the all-time list. Canseco was at one time the all-time leader in home runs among Latino players; he was later surpassed by Manny Ramirez, Carlos Delgado, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, and Sammy Sosa. Canseco has been distinguished four times with the Silver Slugger award: three times as an AL outfielder in 1988, 1990, and 1991, and once as a Designated Hitter in 1998.

Independent League career

On June 29, 2006, the independent Golden Baseball League announced Canseco had agreed to a one-year contract to play with the San Diego Surf Dawgs. The League said Canseco had agreed to be subjected to its drug-testing policy "that immediately expels any players found using steroids or illegal drugs."

On July 5, 2006, Canseco was traded to the Long Beach Armada after only one game. He requested the trade due to "family obligations." On July 31, 2006, Canseco won the Golden Baseball League's Home Run Derby. Other teams that Canseco played for in the minor leagues include the Huntsville Stars, Medford A's, Pawtucket Red Sox, Newark Bears, and Charlotte Knights.


In 2005, Canseco admitted to using anabolic steroids with Jorge Delgado, Damaso Moreno and Manuel Collado in a tell-all book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. Canseco also claimed that up to 85% of major league players took steroids, a figure disputed by many in the game. In the book, Canseco specifically identified former teammates Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Iván Rodríguez and Juan González as fellow steroid users, and claimed that he injected them.[6] Most of the players named in the book initially denied steroid use, though Giambi admitted to steroid use in testimony before a grand jury investigating the BALCO case and on January 11, 2010 McGwire admitted publicly to using steroids.

At a Congressional hearing on the subject of steroids in sports, Palmeiro categorically denied using performance-enhancing drugs, while McGwire repeatedly and somewhat conspicuously refused to answer questions on his own suspected use, saying he "didn't want to talk about the past." Canseco's book became a New York Times bestseller. On August 1, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days by Major League Baseball after testing positive for steroids.

On December 13, 2007, José Canseco and Jorge Delgado were cited in the Mitchell Report to the Commissioner of Baseball of an Independent Investigation Into the Illegal Use of Steroids and Other Performance Enhancing Substances by Players in Major League Baseball.[7]

On December 20, 2007, Canseco was also named in Jason Grimsley's unsealed affidavit as a user of steroids. Canseco and Grimsley were teammates on the 2000 New York Yankees.[8]

On December 30, 2007, it was announced that Canseco has reached a deal for his sequel to Juiced. The new book is Vindicated, which Canseco's lawyer, Robert Saunooke, said would hit bookstores by Opening Day 2008. This book is said to have "stuff" on Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Belle as suggested by Canseco. The book will be a "clarification" of names that should've been mentioned in the Mitchell Report. On January 5, 2008, a potential editor for his upcoming book, Don Yaeger, a former Sports Illustrated associate editor, said he would not edit the book. He told the New York Daily News that he thought Canseco didn't have a book in the material he gave him. However, on February 7, 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that A-Rod did test positive during his 2003 season, which could make Canseco's book seem more real than it was believed.[9] Finally, on Monday, February 9, 2009 A-Rod confirmed Canseco's previous allegations of steroids use in an exclusive interview; A-Rod admits to using steroids from 2001 to 2003. Rodriguez however denied the allegations written in Canseco's book that Canseco introduced him to a steroid deal calling that information "100% false".

Post baseball

While still a player, he did guest star on The Simpsons and Nash Bridges. Since his retirement, Canseco has appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, 60 Minutes, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, " Boomer and Carton ", Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, CMI: The Chris Myers Interview, and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. In 2003, he was featured in the reality-TV special Stripper's Ball: Jenna Jameson with Dennis Rodman and Magic Johnson.[10] He was a cast member in Season 5 of The Surreal Life with Janice Dickinson, Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa, Bronson Pinchot, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Caprice Bourret, and Carey Hart.[11]

In 2007, he received 6 Hall of Fame votes. This accounted for 1.1% of the ballots, failing to reach the 5% threshold necessary to stay on the ballot for another year. However, he can be elected to the Hall of Fame by the Committee of Baseball Veterans.

In May 2008, Vai Sikahema accepted a challenge from Canseco to fight him for $30,000. Canseco claims to have earned black belts in Kung Fu and Taekwondo, while Sikahema fought in the Golden Gloves tournament won by Sugar Ray Leonard. The fight took place on July 12 in Atlantic City at the Bernie Robbins stadium.[12] The 5'9" Sikahema knocked out the 6'4" Canseco in the first round.

On January 24, 2009, Canseco fought radio personality and former child actor Danny Bonaduce in Aston Township, Pennsylvania; the three-round match ended in a majority draw.[13][14]

In 2003, Canseco would "rent" a day hanging out with him at his home in Southern Florida. It was said that for $5000 you could spend the entire day with him

Canseco made his mixed martial arts debut at Dream 9 where he lost in the first round against 7'2" K-1 fighter and occasional mixed martial artist Hong Man Choi as part of Dream's Super Hulk Tournament.[15][16]

On November 6, 2009, Canseco defeated Todd Poulton in a Celebrity Boxing Federation bout in Springfield, MA.[17]

Personal life

In 1989, his first wife, Esther Haddad, whom he married in October 1988, accused him of domestic violence after he allegedly ran his car into hers. They divorced in 1991.

In August 1996, he married Jessica Sekely, whom he met while she was working as a Hooters waitress. He was arrested in November 1997 for allegedly hitting her. In January 1998, he was sentenced to probation and required to have counseling. The couple divorced in 1999. They have a daughter, Josiphene Marie, nicknamed "Josie".

In October 2001, he and his brother got into a fight with two California tourists at a Miami Beach nightclub that left one man with a broken nose and another needing 20 stitches in his lip; Canseco was charged with two counts of aggravated battery.

In May 2008, Canseco revealed that he had lost his house in Encino, California to foreclosure,[18] saying his two divorces had cost him $7 to $8 million each.

On October 10, 2008, Canseco was detained by immigration officials at a San Diego border crossing as he tried to bring a fertility drug from Mexico. He stated the drug was to help with his hormone replacement therapy, needed due to his use of steroids.[19]

On November 4, 2008, Canseco pled guilty in federal court to the misdemeanor offense of trying to bring a fertility drug into the USA from Mexico. He was sentenced to 12 months’ unsupervised probation by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruben B. Brooks. Canseco told the judge he had gone to Tijuana looking for a substance to restore his testosterone levels in an attempt to reverse damage done by his admitted steroids use. He was detained at San Diego’s San Ysidro border crossing in October 2008 after agents searched his vehicle and said they found human chorionic gonadotropin, which is illegal without a prescription.

The 2008 A&E Network documentary Jose Canseco: Last Shot chronicles Canseco's attempts to end his steroid use.[20]

Mixed martial arts record

Result Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 0-1 South Korea Hong Man Choi Submission (Strikes) DREAM.9 02009-05-26 May 26, 2009 1 1:17 Japan Yokohama, Japan DREAM Super Hulk Grand Prix Quarterfinal

See also


  1. ^ "José Canseco's official website". Retrieved April 16, 2006. 
  2. ^ Kenny Rossi, "A's Rout Pilots", Modesto Bee, April 12, 1984, morn ed: D2.
  3. ^
  4. ^| A Head's-Up Play
  5. ^ "New York Times article". 
  6. ^ "Canseco: Steroids made baseball career possible". USA Today. 2005-02-13. 
  7. ^ Mitchell, George (2007-12-13). "Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  8. ^ "Affidavit: Grimsley named players". CNN. 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  9. ^ "Report: Potential editor for Canseco book says he doesn't have goods on A-Rod". ESPN. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Jose Canseco". 
  11. ^ Jose Canseco, Omarosa join ‘Surreal’ cast
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Canseco and Bonaduce Fought to a Draw". January 24, 2009. 
  15. ^ Breen, Jordan (2009-04-30). "Jose Canseco to Collide with Choi in Super Hulk Tournament". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  16. ^ "Canseco beaten in MMA debut". 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "A&E Television page of Jose Canseco: Last Shot". 

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ozzie Guillén
American League Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Mark McGwire
Preceded by
Mark McGwire
Cecil Fielder
American League Home Run Champion
(with Cecil Fielder)
Succeeded by
Fred McGriff
Juan González
Preceded by
George Bell
American League RBI Champion
Succeeded by
Rubén Sierra
Preceded by
George Bell
American League Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Robin Yount
Preceded by
Bo Jackson
AL Comeback Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Tim Wakefield

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