Sportcasting, Latino Baseball Illustration
Say what you will about Jose Canseco’s cartoon muscles, blatant steroid use and off-the-field antics, but the Oakland Athletics outfielder was a dynamic and exciting player early in his career who was always fun to watch at the plate.
But the massive slugger’s size — 6’4” and 240 pounds — belied his speed, and on this day in béisbol, August 6, 1988, the Cuban-born Canseco became the 11th player to join the exclusive 30-30 Club: 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in one season.
He already had 31 homers on the year when he stole second in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win against the Mariners.
Canseco, then 23 and in his fourth season with the A’s, would go on to win the 1988 American League MVP award as he led Oakland to the World Series (a loss against the Dodgers) with a Major League-leading 42 HR and 124 RBI.
He’d also steal 40 bases later that year to become baseball’s first 40-40 man — a feat Canseco predicted he’d do before the season. The other members of that club: Barry Bonds (1996), Alex Rodriguez (1998) and Alfonso Soriano, who did it in 2006.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Silent Sensei from Santa Cruz, USA / CC BY