Back during the very first week of Wax Heaven, then titled ‘Canseco Completist’ I wrote about a 2004 Upper Deck Jose Canseco card which looked very peculiar to me (link).
Even in the early-90′s, when Jose was still a “kid” he had already begun to look much older probably due to the pressure and abuse his body was experiencing. Ozzie Canseco on the other hand had spent the past the past few years in the Minors and looked extremely “fresh” when he was called up to Majors to play alongside his brother for a couple of weeks.
Today it’s easy to tell the brothers apart. Jose looks like he’s been hit by a Mack truck and is noticeably taller and bigger than Ozzie. Meanwhile, Ozzie has aged much better and looks like he could put on a uniform and play a season if he had the opportunity.
Back in the 90′s it was a lot more difficult. If it weren’t for Jose’s giant, disturbing birthmark on his hand it would be easy for a photographer to confuse them. You can see an example in the vintage picture with a Walt Weiss just inches away from the hairy rat.
While looking through Getty Images this morning I stumbled upon the picture used by Upper Deck and finally received closure on this “error” that really only I would care about. Besides the obvious lack of a birthmark, you can make out Ozzie’s #55 on the back of his jersey.
It may have taken me over a year but the Upper Deck Mystery has finally been laid to rest. Now prepare to cash in one a “one of a kind” error that makes this card’s book value worth thousands of dollars by Beckett’s standards.
Or at the very least you can appreciate a little story behind your card.