In the 1980s, Canseco was one-half of the Oakland Athletics’ Bash Brothers, the one-two home-run-hitting machine he formed with teammate Mark McGwire. In 1988, Canseco became the first player in major league history to hit at least 40 home runs and steal at least 40 bases in the same season; that same year, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. But injuries slowed him down. After several spasmodic comebacks -- the most successful of which, in 1998, was completely overshadowed by McGwire’s home run duel with Sammy Sosa -- Canseco retired in 2002. The Los Angeles Dodgers declined to offer him a spot in 2004, after a spring tryout.
As a career, it was a curious blend of triumph and disappointment. But it turned out to be the prelude to a lurid retirement that included repeated runs-in with the law and two enormously expensive divorces. In 2005, Canseco made headlines with a bestselling book called Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ’Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big, in which he confessed to using anabolic steroids and outed several former players as fellow juicers -- among them, McGwire. In 2008, Canseco walked away from his $2.5 million, 7,300-square-foot mansion in Encino, Calif., which went into foreclosure. Not quite a bankruptcy, but still an impressive financial failure for such a formerly powerful earner.