In real life, my youth is ancient history and I don’t know if can find others anywhere who might care - when I dig around and look for occasional baseball card 'war' stories on social media, forums or blogs mentioning this card in particular, I’ll pat myself on the back for having a nostalgic status symbol from way back when.’
As it stands, Canseco is a buffoon, a shyster and a Twitter troll - maybe long declared irrelevant, I did enjoy parts from his two books where [regardless of where one stands as far as Canseco 'ratting out' his old teammates, friends and frenemies] he exposed how the raw the Steroid Era was.
He said he wouldn’t have made the big leagues without PEDs but he had some staying power - maybe for three or four years, he might have been Mike Trout with ‘bite,’ a 5-tool player with power and speed as his prominent attributes.
Canseco was always the bad boy jock, but had he cultivated a little more of a clean cut image and a bit more discreet about his indiscretions - he might be a borderline HOFer with his numbers.
Because they were valuable commodities, I don’t know if I seriously chased after any one particular Canseco rookie era card - I still remember the friend whose house I used to go to having the 1986 Donruss Rookies as a likely centerpiece card of his collection.
Maybe in one of the first times, I splurged on a handful of singles at a card shop, I picked up Canseco's 1987 Topps - in the mid 1990s, I might have had a couple of Canseco's cards from the 1986 Donruss Highlights boxed set.
Canseco was the ‘it’ player in MLB and he was posed swinging a bat topless by a notable fashion photographer - probably through means I’m not proud of, I might remember pulling the card off loose packs from the local supermarket.
Years later, I remember getting autographs at the ballpark in 1999 and Canseco came out of the front after a game - I must have been going batty when I spotted him and rushed to have him sign a couple of the Beckett magazines I must have bought at a card show.
He scribbled on them dismissively, but here I was seeing one the biggest stars of my childhood in the flesh - I tried asking him for a photo and he said, 'no' but I may still have it somewhere where I got the worst picture of me and him 'together' as he's walking.