The Bay Area landed the most coveted free agent of the summer when the Golden State Warriors successfully recruited former NBA MVP Kevin Durant last month.
Now, another former MVP has landed in the Bay Area and he’s doing his best to recruit a former Heisman Trophy winner to join his squad.
Baseball pariah Jose Canseco, at age 52, clearly isn’t yet done playing ball as he recently signed with the Pittsburg Diamonds, an independent team playing in the Pacific Association of Pro Baseball Clubs. Canseco is currently serving in a few different roles with the team and hopes he can form a 2016 version of the infamous Bash Brothers by luring none other than Tim Tebow to join him.
“I saw his swing on YouTube let me tell you: He’s strong and he’s got a very powerful swing. Good technique,” Canseco told us. “So I would definitely love to see him out here, get some at-bats, and I’d love to work with him.”
I would definitely love to see [tebow] out here, get some at-bats, and I’d love to work with him.
Tebow, of course, made headlines last week with news that the former NFL quarterback and college football legend is seriously exploring, at age 29, a career in baseball. While many have cast doubts on Tebow’s abilities and passion for the game, Canseco isn’t the only member of the organization that seriously wants to see Tebow suit up for the Diamonds.
“We are going to be pursuing Tim Tebow,” Diamonds owner Khurram Shah said. “Absolutely. I think he’s going to be doing a showcase for MLB but he can showcase for us.”
Tebow has reportedly been working on his game for the last year and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, confirmed last week that the Florida Gator great plans to hold a showcase for all 30 major league teams by the end of the month. But is it a publicity stunt or a legit attempt at a career change?
If the Diamonds were able to lure Tebow, it would obviously do wonders for the club and the league. He would immediately become its face, a title that currently belongs to Canseco. The former All-Star is a jack of all trades for the Diamonds serving as a designated hitter, a pitcher, and an avid autograph signer between innings.
“I’m a knuckleball pitcher,” Canseco said. “[I probably throw] in the 70’s. I enjoy pitching. I enjoy playing knuckleball. If it works, they can’t hit it, but if it doesn’t I guess they’re going to hit it pretty good.”
Canseco pitched just one inning in the majors, in 1993 with the Rangers. He allowed three earned runs—leaving him with a 27.00 career ERA—and suffered an injury that required season-ending Tommy John surgery in the process. His Pacific League ERA of 17.35 in three appearances, all starts, is only slightly lower than the 27.00 mark he posted in his lone inning in the bigs.
The 1988 AL MVP is still a capable hitter though—potentially providing Tebow with some protection should they team up. Canseco is 2 for 14 on the season after collecting two hits in his 2016 debut and he headlined a recent home run derby at the Diamonds’ home field. But why is Canseco still taking his hacks at such an advanced age?
“I think he wants to prove that he can play, and he wants to be the oldest man to hit a home run,” Shah said. “I do know that his goal is in pro baseball to be the oldest person to ever do it.”
Canseco, who last played in the majors in 2001, signed with the Diamonds last week to play the month of August with them. He briefly played for them last year and has had several sporadic stints in independent baseball over the last decade. He became involved with the team in large part to help build the league.
“[Shah and I] kind of spoke about what we needed to do to develop the league from a four-team to maybe six or eight,” Canseco said. “And again, he had me come down for the full month of August, play a bunch of games, pitch a little bit, and asses the league. And we’re definitely going to talk afterward to see if we’re going to develop the Pacific League into a stronger independent baseball league.”
Just know that unlike Tebow, Canseco isn’t dreaming about the bigs. He laughed off the possibility of a major league comeback.
“At 52 years old? Not that good at all,” Canseco said.