This is the story of how we took advantage of the Internet, social media, and group funding to interact with a baseball God, invest in “priceless” art and procure the best fantasy baseball trophy in America.
As huge baseball fans (and Nats season ticket holders), we follow Jose Canseco’s magnificent train wreck of a Twitter account, and we noticed the following tweet showing his “portrait” of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and announcing that is was for sale:
After gazing into the dragon’s fiery eyes, we knew we had to have it for our fantasy baseball league, where we co-manage a team. We took it as fate that our league’s trophy has been known as the “Commisioner’s Trophy” since its inception.
We checked out the tweets Canseco had received in response to his post and saw hilarious responses ranging from offers of a “Mark McGwire rookie card” to $266 – one buck for each point of Canseco’s career batting average.
After contemplating sending him a direct message on Twitter, we realized that Canseco was just the type of celeb-specimen to have somehow made his cell phone number public domain. Our diligence was rewarded – googling “Jose Canseco cell phone” led us to the following story — apparently Canseco left his phone number for a 19 year-old waitress last year (she immediately put it online):
We took a shot in the dark and texted Canseco’s number, telling him we were interested. Two hours later, while sitting at a bar in Roanoke, our phones lit up with a text from Canseco — “1k takes the painting.” Considering our fantasy dues were $100 per team and there are ten teams in the league, this was definitely doable. To pay for the painting, instead of cash winnings this year, the league champion will get the Canseco for a year, until the next year’s champ is crowned. As co-managers of an almost entirely Nats-filled roster, we each felt it was well worth $50 each.
After several text messages and one phone call with Jose (negotiations included securing a public tweet from Canseco to serve as the certificate of authenticity…I mean, since the Library of Congress archives them all), we reached an agreement.
It arrived [Sunday] from Las Vegas in a USPS priority mail envelope addressed to us in Jose’s own handwriting. It is, in a word, BREATHTAKING….if a little undersized. We think it is the most exquisite fantasy trophy in the country.
Canseco’s “Bud Selig Dragon” is the foremost example of protest art against the Sith Lord (and former used car salesman) Bud Selig and his draconian commissionership (seriously, who lets the All-Star Game end in a tie?!?!).
One day, when Selig goes back to slinging minivans in Milwaukee, perhaps baseball will recognize the contributions of Canseco, McGwire, Clemens, and the rest of the ’90s legends who brought baseball back from the strike and put baseball’s popularity on the rising trajectory its on today. Our goal is to have this bad boy end up in Cooperstown one day, once baseball decides to address the steroid issue in a more nuanced way and allow dissenting voices into the narrative. In our minds, this painting is baseball’s modern day equivalent of Picasso’s “Guernica.”
Also, fellow Selig detractors can follow the masterpiece on its new twitter account — @BudSeligDragon – for breaking anti-Selig commentary.