Jose Canseco Describes The 'Devastating' Effect Of Being A Young Athlete And A Celeb

Speaking from experience, Jose Canseco says this combination is a recipe for disaster.

Some young athletes power through the start of their professional careers with their heads down and their eyes focused on the work itself. Others -- for different reasons -- stand in a much brighter spotlight, constantly followed by cameras outside the sport and are treated like rock stars. Baseball slugger Jose Canseco was one of those celebrity athletes.

At the start of his career, Canseco was just another rookie looking to carve out a spot for himself among baseball's best. But, as the 51-year-old tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" in the above clip, things shifted quickly, and he was soon commanding the highest salary in the Major League.

"Everything changes when you become the combination of ... being the highest paid player and a celebrity," Canseco says. "Those combinations for a young athlete are devastating."

Boxing had Mike Tyson, basketball had Michael Jordan and, Canseco says, baseball had him.

"I was baseball. I couldn't go anywhere," he points out. "For a young kid of 24, it's difficult to handle. You're bound to make a lot of mistakes."

Canseco's own mistakes included using steroids to enhance his game, among other things, and he now looks back at his missteps with the hindsight of someone who has learned a tough lesson. 

"Let me tell you something. When you have money and you're famous, you seem to have so many friends. It's incredible," Canseco says. "But, when you fall off that pedestal, I guarantee you: None will be there."

Another observation from the disgraced ballplayer:



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