8.22.2009

Jose Canseco, 1994 Upper Deck

Name: Jose Canseco
Team: Texas Rangers
Positions: Outfield, actor
Value of card: $5 gift card at Home Depot
Key 1993 stat: One Coen brothers movie starred in
Lights, camera, action: After taking a couple years off following "Barton Fink," the Coen brothers began working on a project about a drug deal gone wrong and a mass murderer trying to reclaim the money from the deal. The screenwriting team held open auditions for all parts — a move they regretted as soon as washed-up Texas Rangers slugger Jose Canseco walked through the door. Though he looked the part of a deranged lunatic, Canseco refused to take the role seriously. After a few lines of set dialogue, Canseco took it upon himself to improvise. The outfielder ripped off his Rangers uniform, threw on a pair of Jordache jeans, tossed aside the shovel that no one had asked him to bring and said, flexing, "Who needs a weapon, friend-o, when I've got guns like these?" It was clear the part was over Canseco's head. The debacle was enough to make the Coens postpone the project for more than a decade, until they were able to cast the actor they'd always most wanted to work with: the older brother from "The Goonies."

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