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José Canseco: 1964—: Baseball Player Biography

Named Rookie Of The Year, Faced Numerous Legal And Physical Troubles, Confronted More Problems After Retirement

José Canseco: 1964—: Baseball player.

As the American League's Rookie of the Year in 1986 and the first player to hit forty home runs and steal forty bases in a single season, José Canseco was one of the outstanding baseball players of his day. Named the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1988 during his first stint with the Oakland Athletics (A's), Canseco indeed seemed well on his way to a long illustrious major league career. Yet a series of injuries and legal problems plagued the slugger during the 1990s. He played for six different teams during the decade—never for more than two-and-a-half seasons on any one team—before briefly joining the New York Yankees in 2000. Closing out his career with the Chicago White Sox in 2001, Canseco alleged that he had been blackballed from baseball because of his controversial persona on and off the field. However, his retirement as a professional athlete proved just as controversial as his playing days. In November of 2002 he pled guilty to charges of assault against two Miami Beach bar patrons and agreed to enter an anger management program as part of his probation. Canseco also made headlines by declaring that he was writing a tell-all book about steroid use in major league baseball, which he claimed was rampant.

José Canseco y Capas and his twin brother, Osvaldo (Ozzie) were born on July 2, 1964, to José and Barbara Canseco in Havana, Cuba. The Cansecos also had a daughter, Teresa. When José and his brother were just nine months old, the family received permission to leave Cuba for the United States. Their father had worked as an oil company executive until the Cuban Revolution installed Fidel Castro in power in 1959. Canseco tried to make a living by giving private lessons in English, but the struggle proved too much. The family had to leave almost all of their material possessions behind in order to emigrate from Cuba and arrived in Miami with only about fifty dollars. The Cansecos found establishing themselves in the close-knit emigré community of Cubans in south Florida was difficult, however, they quickly adjusted to life in America. Both José and his brother Ozzie attended public schools in Miami, eventually finishing their education at Coral Park High School. Both were star baseball players on the school's team. As a pitcher, Ozzie was drafted by the New York Yankees. José, playing third base and outfield, was also drafted as a teenager in 1982, going to the Oakland Athletics in the fifteenth round.

At a Glance . . .

Born José Canseco y Capas, Jr. on July 2, 1964, in Havana, Cuba; son of José and Barbara Canseco; married Esther Canseco (divorced); married Jessica Canseco (divorced); children: Josie (with Jessica).

Career: Baseball player, 1985-01: Oakland A's, 1985-92; Texas Rangers, 1992-94; Boston Red Sox, 1994-96; Oakland A's, 1997; Toronto Blue Jays, 1998; Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 1999-00; New York Yankees, 2000; Chicago White Sox, 2001.

Awards: American League Rookie of the Year, 1986; American League Most Valuable Player, 1988.

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