No, not from blogging. I am taking a small break from buying Jose (and Ozzie) cards for a small period of time. Frankly, I have some non-hobby activities taking up my time in the next month that has made me want to save up all my pennies. For starters, I have my Jiu Jitsu blue belt exam in early March. That will be followed up immediately by my daughter’s birthday and I’d like for us to spend a weekend in Disney.
Thankfully, I have three cards that put the icing on my card collecting break and I didn’t even pay a penny for them. For that, I am truly grateful. These three cards of Ozzie Canseco are the most rare cards of the lesser-known twin of Jose and in a decade of checking eBay, I’ve never seen any of them for sale. Ironically, at the time of delivery… one finally hit eBay for a price of $11 dollars, much more than any of Ozzie’s other cards.
Ozzie Canseco played two years with the independent Newark Bears, with his final season in 2001 at the age of 36. This could have been his final card ever but Ozzie made a miraculous return in 2010 and played 17 total games until 2014 at the age of 49. In total, Ozzie played in 19 seasons of professional baseball with his greatest year being written about HERE. Furthermore, unlike his brother, Ozzie was a class act on the field.
My next two cards were my Ozzie Canseco “White Whales” due to them being produced in Japan. I know of Ozzie’s stint in Japan after flunking out of Major League Baseball but so little information is available from that era, long before the Internet was a thing. What I was able to find out, despite signing with the Kintetsu Buffaloes, Ozzie was stuck in their Minor League system in Japan much like in America. Halfway through the year, he abruptly quit baseball.
The problem Ozzie had at the plate was the Yankees’ and Jose Canseco’s fault. You see, he was signed by New York as a pitcher but once MLB saw the explosive power of Ozzie’s “Bash” brother, they looked at Ozzie and figured he’d be one hell of a power hitter. I mean, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? WRONG. Ozzie, a lifelong pitcher was now given the task of following in his brother’s huge shadow with zero experience hitting.
Thankfully, before it was all said and done, Ozzie had his one great season in 2000 when he hit .299 with 48 home runs, 129 RBI, 100 runs scored, and even stole 21 bases. His 48 home runs is still an Atlantic League record and he even won the league’s MVP award that year. Oh, and those numbers were put together in just 130 games. Suddenly, Ozzie’s 19-year struggle doesn’t seem so bad because finally, a Canseco got his happy ending.
Much love to The Lost Collector and Korean Cardboard for thinking of me and sending me these absolutely awesome cards (for free) out of the blue. As a 29-year collector of all things Canseco, you don’t have any idea how important these cards are to me. I am now down to just one final Ozzie card but it’s hideous and can wait till my return as a bad ass BJJ blue belt with a nice tan from a weekend spent at Disney World.