The Stafford Little League Legends Night

Legends Night originated in the Winter of 2004 as the brainchild of Stafford Little League president Bosco Fowler and board member Larry McCloskey. Both men aspired to create a family-friendly event where parents and children could spend an evening with professional ballplayers who, through their dedication and hard work, attained success in the professional ranks. Bosco and Larry never imagined that Legends Night would quickly attract such household names such as all-time hits leader Pete Rose, Hall of Famer “Goose” Gossage, Luis Tiant and Bill “Spaceman” Lee. Ten years later, and under new leadership, and with the support and assistance of countless volunteers, we’re excited to bring you another fantastic event on Thursday, May 8th at the newly renovated Palace Theater in Stafford Springs, CT. In keeping with tradition, this evening will feature dinner, photos with the stars, autographs, and intimate stories of life in the major leagues. All proceeds benefit the Stafford Little League. Come create another memory. We hope to “catch” you there!

Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco Biography

Early Years
Professional Career
Minor league career
Oakland Athletics (1986-92)
Texas Rangers (1992-94)
Boston Red Sox (1994-96)
Oakland Athletics (1997)
Toronto Blue Jays (1998)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1999-2000)
New York Yankees (2000)
Chicago White Sox (2001)

Post-playing career

Jose Canseco is a former outfielder who became the first member of baseball's 40-40 club, demonstrating a previously unheard of combination of power and speed. Most of Canseco's on the field success, however, is overshadowed by his role as a whistle-blower, due to his book "Juiced," an expose of steroid use in the sport that eventually led to Congressional hearings on the matter and increased drug testing in baseball.

Early Years

Jose Canseco was born July 2, 1964 on the island of Cuba. He and his family left Cuba when he was still an infant. Along with his twin brother, Ozzie, Jose Canseco grew up in Miami, Florida, attending Coral Park High School. In 1982, the Oakland Athletics drafted Canseco, who opted to skip college and immediately join the A's organization in the minor leagues.

Professional Career

Minor league career

Over the next few years, Canseco's powerful home run blasts earned him plenty of attention, and in 1985 he was named Baseball America's Minor League player of the Year. The Athletics decided to call him up to the majors at the age of 20, and Canseco made his debut on Sept. 2, 1984. In 100 plate appearances, Canseco hit five home runs but also struck out 31 times.

Oakland Athletics (1986-92)

In 1986, Canseco's first full season, he hit 33 home runs en route to the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The next season, combined with the 49 home runs hit by teammate Mark McGwire, the duo became known as the Bash Brothers and began celebrating a home run by banging their elbows together became an oft-imitated move.

In 1988, Canseco set a new standard for baseball players, becoming the first-ever member of the 40-40 club, hitting 42 home runs and stealing 40 bases. He became the first member of the Oakland Athletics to drive in 100 or more runs in three consecutive seasons, and, after helping lead the A's all the way to the World Series before losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he unanimously took home the AL's MVP Award.

Despite the success on the field, Canseco's off-field antics were garnering as much, if not more, publicity. After missing most of 1989 with a broken wrist -- though he still managed to hit 17 home runs in just 65 games -- Canseco remained in the headlines thanks to several speeding tickets and a citation for carrying a loaded handgun in his car.

Canseco returned to form over the next two seasons, hitting 81 home runs from 1990 to 1991. However, after having signed a five-year $23.5 million deal -- at the time was the highest in the sport --, Canseco's celebrity was starting to interfere with his play on the field. In what became a notorious incident at Yankee Stadium in 1991, Canseco and a vociferous fan nearly exchanged blows after the fan heckled the outfielder over his highly-publicized relationship with singer Madonna.

The following season, as his performance dipped slightly (only 22 home runs) and the hometown fans started booing Canseco on a regular basis, the Athletics opted to trade away the outfielder, in the middle of a pennant race.

Texas Rangers (1992-94)

While Oakland went on to the playoffs, Canseco went on to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Ruben Sierra, Bobby Witt and Jeff Russell. With the Rangers in 1993, Canseco's obvious flaws as a defensive player were on full display.

On May 23, one of the most infamous bloopers took place, as a long fly ball from Carlos Martinez of the Cleveland Indians struck a leaping Canseco on the top of the head and sailed over the outfield fence for a home run. Later that same week, Canseco talked his way into pitching during a 15-1 blowout loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Although it seemed comical at the time, within a month after the outing, Canseco needed to undergo elbow surgery as a result of the stress of pitching, and his season was over. No longer suited for playing in the field, the Rangers made Canseco a full-time DH in 1994. He did hit 31 home runs and drove in 90 RBI, but the team felt his inability to play the field was too much of a liability. They traded Canseco to the Boston Red Sox in the off-season for Otis Nixon and Luis Ortiz.

Boston Red Sox (1994-96)

In Boston, Canseco's injuries mounted -- a sore groin, rib cage issues, the elbow, and a back injury exacerbated by his aggressive swing. Although he hit 52 home runs over two seasons, he spent far too much time on the disabled list for the Red Sox' liking. Before the start of the 1997 season, he was sent back to Oakland.

Oakland Athletics (1997)

Back in Oakland, Canseco was reunited with Mark Mc Gwire. The reunion did not last the season, as Mc Gwire was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline and the very next day, Canseco's back forced him to the disabled list for the remainder of the season.

Toronto Blue Jays (1998)

In 1998, Canseco signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jays and had his most productive season since 1991. Hitting 46 home runs and driving in 107 runs, Canseco managed to play in 151 games and remaining free from injury. However, his .237 batting average and a career-high 159 strikeouts scared most teams away from a contract the following season.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1999-2000)

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays finally bit on Canseco, as they had finished last in the American League in home runs in 1998. As the DH, Canseco smashed 34 home runs, though he did land on the disabled list with a back injury and missed most of July and early August. When 2000 saw Canseco once again on the disabled list, missing the month of June, Tampa Bay grew frustrated and waived him on Aug. 7, where he was claimed by the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees (2000)

The claim was seen as more of a "defensive" move to prevent other teams from benefitting from anything left in Canseco's tank than a pressing need by the Yankees for power. Still, Canseco hit six home runs in 37 games for the Bronx Bombers.

Chicago White Sox (2001)

An aborted attempt to join the Anaheim Angels in 2001 ended when the team cut him during the spring. After a brief stay with the Newark Bears of the Independent League where he played alongside his twin brother Ozzie, Canseco joined the Chicago White Sox on June 21. He did manage to hit 16 home runs, but at the age of 36, the end was clearly near.

After being cut by the Montreal Expos before the start of the 2002 season, Canseco announced his retirement in May.

Although Canseco did attempt a comeback in the spring of 2004 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and played briefly in the independent Golden Baseball League again in 2006, Canseco's major league career ended with a total of 462 career home runs.

Post-playing career

Canseco did not fade gently into the sunset after his retirement. Instead, he penned a tell-all book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big," in which he admitted to using steroids and made the claim that nearly 85 percent of all major leaguers did the same.

Canseco called out several of his former teammates including Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez. At the time of the book's publication, all the players denied the claims, but Giambi and Mc Gwire did eventually admit publicly to the use of steroids.

Congressional hearings were held on the whole issue of steroid use in baseball, sparked by the buzz created by Canseco's New York Times best-seller.

In 2007, Canseco announced plans for a sequel to his book and suggested that Alex Rodriguez would be named as having tested positive for steroid use back in 2003. Canseco's claims, originally not believed, were eventually confirmed by Rodriguez in early 2009.

Canseco himself was detained in October 2008, attempting to bring fertility drugs across the border from Mexico, which he claimed were needed to assist him in helping him recover from years of steroid abuse. Canseco was ultimately sentenced to a year of probation for the incident.

















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Dwight Gooden

Dwight Eugene "Doc" Gooden, nicknamed "Dr. K", is an American retired professional baseball player. A pitcher, Gooden played in Major League Baseball for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros…

.Born: Nov 16, 1964 · Tampa, Florida

Spouse: Monica Harris (1987 - 2004)
Positions: Pitcher · Starting pitcher
Education: Hillsborough High School
Children: Dwight Gooden Jr. · Ariel Gooden · Ashley Gooden · Devin Gooden · Darren Gooden



1968: Leading Major League Baseball with 24 wins, 268 strikeouts, and a 1.53 ERA (the second lowest in the Live Ball Era, trailing only Bob Gibson's 1.12 in 1968) Gooden earned the major leagues' pitching Triple Crown.

1983: He was voted the Rookie of The Year, giving the Mets two consecutive winners of that award (Darryl Strawberry had been the recipient in 1983).

1985: The Mets finished second in the 1985 NL East, and teammates jokingly blamed Gooden for having lost 4 games, thereby mathematically costing them the division title.

1987: Dwight Gooden married Monica Harris on November 21, 1987; their marriage lasted 17 years till August 17, 2004.

1997: The following year, he had one start for the Yankees in the 1997 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians; coincidentally, he again faced his 1988 postseason nemesis Orel Hershiser.

2000: Gooden did not pitch in the 2000 World Series against the Mets, though 2000 would be the 3rd time Gooden received a World Series ring in his career.

2010: On August 1, 2010, he was officially inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame along with Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen, and Davey Johnson

Bill "Spaceman" Lee

Bill "The Spaceman" Lee, the left handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, was one of the most colorful players in major league baseball history. With the Red Sox from 1969 through 1978, and with the Montreal Expos from 1979 until he retired in 1982, Lee won 16 or more games four times, including three straight 17 win seasons from 1973 to 1975. He was part of the Red Sox team that played what many believe is the best World Series ever, against the Cincinnatti Reds in 1975.

His productivity declined after being injured in a fight at Yankee Stadium in 1976. He won only five games in a short-ended 1976 season, followed by win totals of 9 and 10 games in 1977 and 1978, when the Red Sox came in second against the Yankees, their hated rivals, twice. By '78, his last year with the Red Sox, he was so out of favor with manager Don Zimmer that Zimmer refused to use him as a starter a good deal of the time, giving him but 24 starts that season, when he had averaged 24 starts a year in 1973-5.

Zimmer had grown to despise Lee for his eccentricities and free-spirited ways. The enmity between the two erupted into a public feud when Lee criticized Zimmer's handling of the pitching staff, particularly his penchant for demoting veteran starters to the bullpen after a couple of bad starts. With Canadian pitchers Reggie Cleveland and future Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, as well as with Bernie Carbo, one of the heroes of the 1975 World Series, Lee had founded the "Buffalo Head Society". As much a locus for anti-Zimmer sentiment on the team, the facetious organization was dedicated to mirth and meeting at the fabled Eliot Lounge in Kenmore Square to tie a few on. Zimmer so hated the non-conformists he forced the trade of all the members, even though Lee and Cleveland were "Yankee Killers", pitchers known to be tough on the Yankees. (Lee had a 12-5 record against the Yanks, whom he passionately hated for injuring his arm during the '76 fight.)

Jenkins was traded to Texas after the 1977 season for pitcher John Poloni, who would never play in another game for the Red Sox or any other team. Jenkins, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, went 18-8 with a 3.08 ERA for the Rangers in 1978, where he was reunited with Cleveland, who had been sold outright to the Rangers after one start in '78. Bernie Carbo was shipped off to the then-hapless Cleveland Indians for cash. The Red Sox were never able to replace him as a pinch hitter. Bob "Beetle" Bailey, whom the Red Sox had picked up from the Reds at the end 1977, batted only .191 as a utility player, taking three pitched strikes during the critical play-off game with the Yankees, in which he appeared as a pinch hitter.

Despite being a certified "Yankee killer", Zimmer refused to give The Spaceman a start against the Yankees during a critical four game series around Labor Day 1978. The Red Sox, who had led the American League East with a 63-33 record on July 24th after splitting a double-header with the Minnesota Twins 63-33 (with the Yankees in a resounding third place with a 52-43 record, given up as dead by much of the press, including an obituary for the team in "Time" magazine, had seen their once commanding lead whittled down to just four games, with the hot Yankees in second). On July 24th, Yankees manager Billy Martin resigned and was replaced by Bob Lemon: the Yankees responded by going 35-14 by September 7th, pulling themselves to within four games of the Red Sox, who went 25-24 in the same period. The series between the two bitter rivals began on September 7th, and by the time it was over on September 10th, the Yankees had won all four games.

The Yankees won the first and second games by 15-3 and 13-2, respectively, scoring 28 runs to Boston's five. Zimmer had started rookie Jim Wright in Game Two against Yankees rookie Jim Beattie. The third game saw a match up of the teams aces: future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley (16-6) against eventually 1978 Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry (20-2). Guidry threw a shutout and the Yankees won 7-0.

In game four, Zimmer bypassed Bill Lee and started rookie Bobby Sprowl against eventually 20-game winner Ed Figueroa. Zimmer claimed that Sprowl had "ice water in his veins". The Yankees chased the Ice Water Kid, racking up a 6-0 lead at the end of four innings, and winning the fourth and final game by 7-4. Though the Red Sox would hang on and eventually tie the Yankees in the last game of the season, they lost a one game playoff.

In the off-season, the Red Sox traded Bill Lee to Montreal for light-hitting shortstop Stan Papi. The trade was greeted with incredulity, including graffiti on the walls of venerable Fenway Park, asking the rhetorical question "Who is Stan Papi?" For former Red Sox manager Dick Williams (the skipper who had piloted the Sox to the "Impossible Dream" pennant in 1976), Lee won 16 games against 10 losses in 34 starts, making a mockery of Don Zimmer's treatment of him. As Lee said, he was sure he could have beaten the Yankees during the Boston Massacre, but Zimmer had refused to start him.

Bill Lee helped pitch the Montreal Expos into their only post-season berth in the team's history, during the strike-truncated 1981 season which saw the first use of the Divisional Series format. Lee pitched two games in relief, winning one game in the National League Division Series in which the Expos bested Phillie, and losing a game against the L.A. Dodgers, who went on to win the N.L. Championship Series and then avenged their two World Series defeats in 1977 and '78 against the Yankees.

Bill Lee's last season was in 1982, with Montreal, in which he was cut after appearing in seven games as a reliever. Lee has continued to be a public figure, as irreverent as ever, who is dedicated to the proposition that professional baseball should be fun, not just about the cash. Lee has written three books: "The Wrong Stuff", "Have Glove, Will Travel", and "The Little Red (Sox) Book: A Revisionist Red Sox History". Warren Zevon included the song "Bill Lee" on his 1980 album "Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School", and he was the subject of the 2006 documentary film, "Spaceman in Cuba", about his barnstorming tour to Cuba.

Bill Lee lives in Vermont, where he is a farmer and plays semi-pro ball in New England with the "Grey Sox", which is made up of former Red Sox players. Currently, he appears every Monday morning on radio station WROR (Framingham, Mass.) and on the Team 990 radio station in Montreal, Quebec every afternoon during baseball season. He continues to be one of the most popular Red Sox players of all time.

Dennis " Oil Can " Boyd

Oil Can Boyd was born on October 6, 1959 in Meridian, Mississippi, USA as Dennis Ray Boyd.

Trivia (4)
Pitcher with the American League's Boston Red Sox (1982-1989) and Texas Rangers (1991[end]); and the National League's Montreal Expos (1990-1991[start]).

Made major league debut on 13 September 1982.

Member of 1986 American League Champion Boston Red Sox team. Member of 1988 American League Eastern Division Champion Boston Red Sox team.

John Tudor

John Tudor was born on February 2, 1954 in Schenectady, New York, USA as John Thomas Tudor.

Trivia (4)
Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (1979-1983), Pittsburgh Pirates (1984), St. Louis Cardinals (1985-1988 and 1990) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1988-1989).

Led the National League in WHIP (.938) and Shutouts (10) in 1985.

St. Louis Cardinals All-Time Won-Loss % Leader (.705).

Won two games in the 1985 Series - the last Cardinal pitcher to do so until Chris Carpenter in 2011.



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