Jose' Canseco: From Possible Hall Of Famer to Buffoon

jered porterContributor IFebruary 18, 2009

When Jose' Canseco first showed up on the scene with the Oakland Athletics in 1986, by winning Rookie of the Year honors it looked like this big, strong, fast athlete was something very special; Hall of Fame special.

He continued to prove this by becoming the first player in baseball history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases, garnering an A.L. MVP award that 1988 season. He also played on a powerhouse team along with fellow Bash Brother and future Hall of Fame canidate turned-buffoon-Mark McGwire. The Oakland A's went to three straight World Series from 1988-90, winning the Fall Classic in 1989 by sweeping the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series for the first World Series sweep since 1976.

It possibly started to unravel for Jose' when instead of showing up for autograph signings, he would have his twin brother Ozzie show up instead (posing as Jose' of course). Not that this is something that can ruin a career, unseemly as it was, but the bad karma may have started the recurring back problems Jose' started having.

So in 1992 while in the on-deck circle Jose' was traded to the Texas Rangers. The 1993 season with the Rangers really unwound for Canseco while in a game against the Cleveland Indians he lost track of a fly ball at the warning track and the ball bounced off his head for a home run in arguably the greatest blooper the game has ever seen.

Jose' made up for this, however, when three days later he asked manager Kevin Kennedy if he could pitch in a blowout loss to the Red Sox. Jose' blew out his arm had to have Tommy John surgery and was done for the season.

Canseco did come back to have a great year with the Blue Jays in 1998, pounding 46 homers, and was having another great year the next season with 34 knocks and 95 RBI with Tampa but his season was cut short again by injury limiting him to 113 games. Jose' had brief stops with the Yankees, Angels, and White Sox organizations before his career ended in 2001.

He made a cheesy little independent league tour in 2006, kickin' it with several buschers, along the way slapping wives around and getting in bar fights with bro Ozzie by his side. Didn't he even get it on with Madonna? (Alright I guess, if your into gilfs).

In 2005 Canseco released his best-selling book "Juiced." You know, I'm all for somebody getting paid but nobody likes a snitch. His sequel, entitled "Vindicated," is due out soon where he even rats more guys out. Good stuff, Jose'!

I do have to give Jose' props, though. During a Congressional hearing, when Rafael (not gonna get in the Hall of Fame) Palmeiro flat-out lied about using roids, Sammy say it ain't Sosa all of a sudden forgot how to speak English, and a teary-eyed, shaky McGwire refused to talk about the subject, Jose' said, "Do you mean to tell me I'm the only guy in Major League Baseball to have taken steroids during all this time?" Jose' does still have his moments of greatness.

Canseco got busted in 2008 for trying to bring a fertility drug into the states from Mexico, garnering 12 months probation (being on the outs with Palmeiro sucks—no more Viagra samples).

Jose' has obviously made the crappy celebrity reality circuit. He was on a season of the celebrity version of Real World, whatever the heck it's called, and of course his magnum opus of buffoonery, with the exception possibly of the homer off the noggin, celebrity boxing!

The 6'4 Canseco challenged 5"9 Vai Sikahema, getting b---- slapped in the first round in the 2008 instant classic. OK, so Vai was in the Golden Gloves, but Jose' claimed to have held black belts in like half a dozen or so different martial arts.

Canseco did come back to redeem himself, fighting the always menacing Danny Bonaduce to a three-round draw in January of this year. If Jose' can keep making little comebacks like this to rise above the ranks of a bona fide dyed in the wool buffoon, maybe he can get voted into the Hall by the Veterans Committee after all, overcoming his 1.1 percent of the vote. Jeez, I think Johnny Lemaster got more votes than that!


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