The Legend of Jose Canseco’s Lost Paycheck

Unlike the decidedly true happening of a home run carom off of Jose Canseco’s head, there is a great story – that may or may not be true – but certainly seems easy to believe when considering the Canseco ethos.

I was a college student in the early 1990s and a friend of mine from the Beverly neighborhood on the south side of Chicago told me that one of his good buddies was working on the crew hired to demolish old Comiskey Park after the 1990 White Sox season ended. Before they could take a wrecking ball to the former “Baseball Palace of the World,” much work needed to be done dismantling the seating and interior areas of the ballpark.

It was during the emptying of the visitor’s locker room that one of my friend’s buddy’s coworkers found an unusual looking piece of paper between two of the old lockers. A closer examination revealed an Oakland Athletics payroll check made payable to none other than Jose Canseco.

Frankly, I did not believe my friend until he produced this photocopy of the paycheck:


The 1990 schedule did not have the A’s facing the White Sox at any point before June 14th so it is not entirely clear how this check, issued a month earlier, made its way between the lockers in the visitor’s locker room in Chicago. And what’s stranger still, is how someone, regardless of a $2,000,000 salary, could simply misplace a check for $104,280.50! Not too shabby for 40 hours of work.

In my heart, I believe the legend of Jose Canseco’s lost paycheck is true, adding yet another strange chapter to his riveting baseball saga.


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