The Time Jose Canseco Called Me From Mall Of America Hooters
As a little kid growing up in the late 1980's, baseball was my life. I would watch any game on television and even listened to the games on a little transistor radio at the cabin while I fell asleep.
My favorite team was the Oakland Athletics... what an awesome team! Ricky Henderson, Dave Stewart, Mark McGwire and, my all time favorite player (at the time), Jose Canseco!
I had multiple Jose Canseco shirts that my grandma ordered from California, all the baseball cards all the dolls collectable figurines. I was obsessed with Canseco.
As time went on and the Twins became competitive my allegiance shifted to my hometown team. But, as Canseco bounced around the league from Oakland to Texas to New York to Tampa, etc, I would always make a trip to the Metrodome to see him in person.
One day in 1994 I was sitting around the house when my grandma told me I had a phone call. I went into the bedroom and picked up the receiver and the voice on the other end said "Hi, is this David? This is Jose Canseco."
I replied 'yeah, right,' and hung up the phone. It rang again. "Hey David, it really is Jose Canseco... ask me anything." After asking him about his date of birth and other biographical information I was able to confirm this was, indeed, Jose Canseco. Holy crap.
I don't remember what we talked about on the phone but it turned out he was eating at Hooters, where my mom worked, and she told him I was a big fan. He insisted on giving me a phone call.
I begged my dad to drive me to the mall and he eventually relented. When I got to the restaurant, Canseco shook my hand and gave me note he had written for me. The most memorable thing about the note was when he said "stick with baseball... that's where the money is."
He was super nice despite his reputation at that point in time. He signed my rookie card and let me wear his 1989 World Series ring. In the weeks that followed I was interviewed by the Star Tribune and the local Dakota County paper.
For a 12-year-old, that was pretty sweet!