BOSTON (CBS) — Jose Canseco made his highly anticipated, triumphant return to professional baseball on Thursday night. Well, perhaps it would have been triumphant had the former major leaguer been prepared to see a couple of breaking balls.
Canseco, 47, debuted for the Worcester Tornadoes, who were playing in Newark to open their Can-Am League season. After working a six-pitch walk in his first at-bat (when he swung away while ahead 3-0), he walked again in his next plate appearance, this time on four pitches.
Then came the breaking balls.
Canseco went down hacking at a low 1-2 breaking ball in his next at-bat. In his final at-bat of the night, Canseco jumped out of the way of a curveball that broke over the plate for strike two, before he watched yet another curveball for a called strike three.
Based on the video of Canseco’s at-bat, the crowd seemed to be split with its support and its booing and taunting of the controversial baseball star. The Bears won 9-2.
Canseco didn’t tweet after the game, but before he stepped on the field, he expressed happiness just for being able to play the sport.
“I am going to play baseball again tonight against the Newark Bears,” he tweeted on Thursday. “I get to play the greatest game in the world don’t be jealous haters.”
Canseco and the Tornadoes will play in Newark over the weekend, and they’ll return to Worcester for their home opener on Monday night against the Quebec Capitales, followed by a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday.