Jose Canseco Says Hall-of-Famer Used SteroidsJuly 31, 2009
Jose Canseco said he was not surprised when he was told that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on the list of baseball players who tested positive for steroids in 2003.
Then he revealed that a Hall-of-Famer was on steroids but wouldn't mention the name of the player.
Canseco made his major league debut in 1985 and his career ended in 2001. That makes it likely that the player whose name he didn’t mention played while Canseco played.
After doing some research online my best guess is that the player he says used steroids would have to be Kirby Puckett.
Puckett hit four homers total during his first two major league seasons of 1984 and 1985 in 1,248 at bats. In his rookie season of 1984, he hit no homers in 557 at bats.
Then in 1986 he suddenly hit 31 homers in 680 at bats. He went from hitting a homer every 312 at bats during his first two seasons to hitting one every 21.9 at bats in 1986.
It is highly suspicious when a player has that kind of jump in their home run totals.
Most steroid users see a huge jump in their slugging percentage when going on steroids. Puckett's slugging percentages were .336 and .385 in his first two seasons, but jumped to .537 in 1986 when he hit the 31 homers.
There could be other reasons for his sudden power production in 1986, like a change in stance or being taught how to drive the ball by a hitting coach.
When Canseco mentioned yesterday about a Hall-of-Famer having used steroids, Puckett was the first player I thought of that had suspicious enough numbers to be the one.
I have heard Puckett beefed up by his third major league season, but there is no way that I know that can document that fact.
I did find his 1985 Topps rookie card, which shows a much slimmer Puckett than the Puckett of later seasons.
We may never know who Canseco thinks is a steroids user but it wouldn't surprise me if it is Puckett.
Anyone with more information about Puckett possibly using or not using steroids is welcome to comment.