This Day in Texas Rangers History: Jose Canseco's Head Produces Home Run and All-Time Blooper
Jose Canseco is one of the most well-known names in the game of baseball.
At one point, Canseco was a future legend. As a member of the Oakland Athletics, he became the first 40/40 player in the history of Major League Baseball in 1988 and was named the American League's Most Valuable Player. He and teammate Mark McGwire were dubbed the Bash Brothers as the prolific power-hitting duo hit captivating moonshots and helped the A's capture a World Series championship in 1989.
Instead of his playing prowess, Canseco is arguably most known for his affiliation with the introduction of steroids in baseball, which is documented in his autobiography Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. His book sparked the downfall of several players from what is now dubbed the "Steroid Era," including his former Bash Brother Mark McGwire. These god-like players' reputations were now shot, ending Hall of Fame aspirations for most of the players Canseco named specifically in his book.
If anything can rival steroids or tape-measure homers as Canseco's call to fame, it's a lowly on-field incident in a regular season game in 1993. Canseco was traded to the Texas Rangers in 1992 in an effort to slingshot the Rangers into contention. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they never competed with Canseco. For a man who was known for home runs, it's fitting that a home run was the highlight of his career in Arlington. However, this home run did not come off Canseco's bat.
On May 26, 1993, Jose Canseco gave us one of the greatest sports bloopers in history.
While we can't pinpoint an exact moment where Canseco's career went on an entirely different trajectory, his career was never the same after his head aided a home run. He had some nice seasons, including a 46-homer season in 1998, but he never lived up to becoming an all-time great as so many people thought he would be when he was mashing homers with Oakland in the 1980's. His tie to the steroid era immediately ended any Hall of Fame aspirations despite hitting 462 career home runs.
It's good to see decades later, Canseco can still have a sense of humor about the iconic blunder. However, he has claimed it should have been ruled a four-base error on more than one occasion.
Credit for the home run technically went to Cleveland's Carlos Martinez, but Canseco is the one remembered on this day — for better or for worse.
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