While Oakland right fielder Jose Canseco doesn't consider himself a part of baseball history, he already has some historic numbers.
Canseco, the first major leaguer to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in one season, was selected The Associated Press Player of the Year on Tuesday.In a landslide result, Canseco received 1411/2 votes from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Los Angeles right-hander Orel Hershiser was runner-up with 13 votes followed by Minnesota's Kirby Puckett with five votes and Boston's Mike Greenwell with 41/2. The balloting was conducted after the World Series.
On Aug. 6, Canseco stole his 30th base to become the 11th player to reach the 30-30 club, joining such all-time greats as Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. On Sept. 23, Canseco took his place alone in baseball history when he stole his 40th base.
"I don't think I'm going to be a person to fit in (baseball history)," Canseco said. "I think the fans and the press will put it in some kind of category."
The fans put Canseco in the All-Star game at Cincinnati by naming him on more ballots than any other player in the American League.
"It means a lot because it shows the improvement I've made between 1986 and 1988," said Canseco, who was married earlier this month.
Canseco hit .240 in 1986 with 33 homers and 117 runs batted in en route to the American League Rookie of the Year award. In 1987, he had 31 homers and 113 RBI.
This season, it all came together as he led the majors with 42 homers and 124 RBI while hitting .307.
"I don't think I had a bad drought except for an 0-for-20. And even when I was 0-for-20, I was hitting the ball well," said Canseco.