José Canseco y Capas, Jr. (born July 2, 1964 in Havana, Cuba) is a former outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball, and is the twin brother of former major league player Ozzie Canseco.
Canseco and his family left Cuba with his cousins 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. He first received high regard for his remarkable power at one of his early minor league stops, with 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.  Canseco started the 1985 season with the AA Huntsville Stars in Huntsville, Alabama 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.
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 2005, Canseco admitted to using anabolic steroids 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, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Iván Rodríguez and Juan González as fellow steroid users, and claimed that he injected them. Most of the players named in the book have denied steroid use. Giambi has admitted to steroid use in testimony before a grand jury investigating the BALCO case.
On December 13, 2007, José Canseco was 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. 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.
On December 30, 2007, it was announced that Canseco has reached a deal for his sequel to Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. The new book is Vindicated, which Canseco's lawyer, Robert Saunooke, says will hit bookstores by Opening Day 2008. This book is said to have "stuff" on Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Albert Belle as suggested by Canseco.
- It's done a lot of players a lot of good. And obviously, this drug is a drug where it's dose-related. Anything in overdose will destroy your liver. I mean, look at cigarettes and look at liquor. Cigarettes says on the packet, this will kill you; it will cause cancer; and you're still smoking it.
Notes and references
- José Canseco's official website, accessed April 16, 2006
- Kenny Rossi, "A's Rout Pilots", Modesto Bee 12 April 1984, morn ed: D2.
- Mitchell, George, "Mitchell Report on Steroid Use in Baseball", 2007-12-13. URL accessed on 2007-12-13.
- Affidavit: Grimsley named players. CNN (2007-12-20). Retrieved on 2007-12-31.