Jose Canseco’s big MVP day

Before he was a punchline, he was a Bash Brother. On this day in 1988, Jose Canseco was selected the AL MVP. 24 years ago, Jose Canseco did what only two American League hitters — 2012 winner Miguel Cabrera not among them — have done since: claim the MVP award in unanimous fashion.

Canseco achieved it in his third full season, at age 24, after leading the league in homers (42), RBIs (124) and slugging percentage (.569). The Oakland Athletics outfielder also stole 40 bases that year, making him the charter member of baseball’s 40-40 club, although he never reached those plateaus in the same season — nor took home an MVP — again.

Canseco was born in Cuba and part of a new generation of Cuban players raised in the US. He retired with 462 HR, 1,407 RBI, several post season appearances and too much controversy.

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