In the biggest signing of independent baseball history, the Laredo Broncos have signed former Major League slugger Jose Canseco to a players contract for remainder of the 2010 season.
Jose will act as a bench coach, as well as DH/pinch hit as needed by Broncos manager Dan Firova. Canseco is a former World Series champion with the Oakland A's. Canseco's return to the baseball diamond comes after exploring many ventures away from the game of baseball, ultimately opting to return to the game he most loves, team officials said.
Canseco was introduced at a press conference on Monday. He was in uniform and with the Broncos for the August 16-18 games vs. the Rio Grande Valley White Wings. He will be in Robstown from Aug. 28-30 as the Broncos take on the Coastal Bend Thunder.
Canseco is looking to get back to MLB as a coach or manager and was looking for a way back into the game, team officials said.
He will play in Laredo for the players minimum to show his commitment to the game first and foremost, Broncos General Manager Jose Melendez said. Canseco will also be shooting a baseball reality show while with the ULB and the Broncos.
"We gave him this option," Melendez said. "He felt baseball was over with. We're the ones who encouraged him to come back and return the the game of baseball and back to where his beloved fans can see him again.
"He's going to do a lot of work with kids, doing a lot of camps. Doing all this for an independent (baseball) team is a lot of sacrifice on his part.
"Jose is an amazing baseball player and accomplished so much in his baseball career, it would be great for the rest of the Broncos players to learn from him as well."
Canseco and the Broncos will hold a special 'under the lights' adult and kids baseball camp in Laredo tonight at 8 p.m. that will include batting practice with Jose Canseco. The second camp on Aug. 29 will be at noon on Sunday. The camp will be $100 for either day or $185 for both days.
Camp will feature other instructors and will be limited in enrollment to maximize instruction.
Canseco slugged 462 home runs in 17 major league seasons and was the American League's Rookie of the Year in 1985. He played nine seasons for Oakland and also spent time with Texas, Boston, Toronto, the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.
Canseco has written two books, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big." and "Vindicated," both best sellers.