Retired MLB star for the Oakland Athletics Jose Canseco was the keynote speaker for the 2017 Mercer First Pitch Classic that happened last month on February 7th at Hawkins Arena. This event is in its ninth year and was sponsored by the Macon Occupational Medicine. The dinner kicked off at 7 p.m., but an autograph session with Canseco was held for an hour and a half at 5:30 p.m., which was a fantastic way to start the night and get to know a lot of the fans who were attending. The former athlete gave a great speech about his life and career in professional sports, and also shared some words of wisdom along with tips for overcoming difficult times.
The Havana, Cuba native left his home country at just one-year-old with his parents and twin brother, and they were settled in Miami Florida almost immediately. He began to play baseball while attending Miami Coral Park High School and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics just after graduating high school in 1982. He made his big debut for the team in 1985 and played on their roster until 1992, when he left to join the Texas Rangers. Over the course of his career, the baseball legend also played for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.
Canseco traveled to Macon Georgia last month to speak at the Mercer First Pitch Classic where he also participated in an autograph session with local fans. It was a fun and exciting evening for both the fans and Canseco alike, and is sure to be a memorable one in the books for years to come.
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Watch Jose Canseco Speaking about the Hall of Fame: