Book Excerpt: 'Juicy: Confessions of a Former Baseball Wife'

ByABC News via logo
September 12, 2005, 11:18 AM

Sept. 15, 2005 — -- When 19-year-old Jessica Sekely first laid eyes on famous baseball player Jose Canseco in 1993, she had no idea who he was. Little did the Hooters trainee know that three years later she would become Mrs. Canseco.

Jessica's experience as a baseball wife was a tumultuous one, and she reveals all the page-turning details in "Juicy: Confessions of a Former Baseball Wife." Her marriage, wrought with infidelity, ended in divorce in 2000. She learned that the players and their wives would turn a blind eye to cheating, so no one would tell her when they saw Jose with other women when he was on the road.

She also contends that she would inject Jose with steroids and even tried them once herself.

Below is the first chapter of Jessica Canseco's memoir.

At the age of nineteen, when I still knew very little about life, and even less about myself, I fell hopelessly in love with the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. It took me the better part of a decade to get over that horrible addiction.

I was a college student at the time, strapped for cash, and one of my housemates, Cathleen, told me about Hooters, the national restaurant chain. She worked at the Cleveland branch, and she said the waitresses made very good money. "You're real pretty, and you have real nice breasts," she observed. "You'll do great."

I went in and filled out an application. The manager glanced at the application, took a considerably longer look at my breasts, and asked when I could start. I reported for work that same week, a Hooters-trainee. I had to learn the names of about a hundred beers, both the ones on tap and the ones in bottles, and I had to familiarize myself with about a dozen house wines. Those first two days were torture. When someone explains something to me in person, verbally, I'm real quick, and I don't need to hear it twice. But when I'm forced to process written information, it's sheer hell.

I was a terrible waitress. I was so nervous in my tight little Hooters outfit that I kept messing up my orders. I couldn't even keep my tables straight, or tell one set of customers from another, but the men never complained. "That's okay, honey. Don't worry about a thing. Why don't you pull up a chair and tell us about yourself?"

On my third day of training, three absolutely gorgeous men walked into the bar. One of them was wearing bright yellow pants and a vibrant red shirt, an outfit that practically screamed for attention. I thought he was the epitome of cool. Then again, that was more than a decade ago, in May of 1993, to be specific, back in the days when I was wearing gold-colored shorts and collared Izod shirts, so my own fashion sense left a great deal to be desired. Still, his clothes were the least of it. He was as stunningly handsome a man as I'd ever seen, and he took my breath away.

The man in the yellow pants noticed me, too. "Can I sit at one of your tables?" he asked. He was a perfect gentleman about it, soft-spoken and low-keyed, but I pointed out that my entire section was full. He suggested I borrow a table from one of the other girls, and that's what I did. "There's this guy and his friends who want to sit in my section," I explained to a fellow waitresss. "Would you mind?"

"This guy?" she repeated, incredulous. "Don't you know who that is?"

"No," I said.

"It's Jose Canseco," she said.


"Jose Canseco," she repeated. "The baseball player."

It still meant nothing to me. I could have told you more than you wanted to know about Metallica or Pink Floyd, but I didn't know anything about professional sports.

"He's the forty-forty guy," the bartender said, piping up.

"The what?"

He explained that the benchmark for a great season, going back a hundred years, had been thirty home runs and thirty stolen bases, and that Canseco had come along in 1988 and raised the bar with forty home runs and forty stolen bases. At that point in time, no other player had matched his record, and it would still be a few years before Barry Bonds reached the same milestone.

"That's nice," I said, and I went off to show Jose and his friends to an empty table. I smiled my Hooters smile and asked them what I could get them.

"How about your phone number?" Jose said, making his eyebrows dance.

"We'll see," I said, trying to be a true professional.

They guys finally ordered -- sandwiches, no drinks -- and I went off to put in their order. When I stopped by the bar to fetch water for the table, the bartender asked me what Jose had said.

"Nothing," I replied. "He asked for my phone number."

"And you blew him off?"

"What was I supposed to do?"

He was incredulous: "It's Jose Canseco!" he repeated.

One of the waitresses was standing within earshot, shaking her head from side to side. "You don't want to mess with him," she warned me. "He's a wife-beater." I didn't know whether that was true, but I knew she was jealous. All the waitresses were ogling Jose and his two friends, including my housemate, Cathleen, but I was getting the attention.

When I returned to the table, Jose smiled up at me. "So what about that phone number?" he said.

"Aren't you married?" I asked. I didn't know if he was married, but he couldn't very well be a wife-beater without a wife, so I simply assumed he was, whether or not there was any truth to the ugly rumor.

"No," he said. "I'm divorced."

"Are you sure?"


"Are you really Jose Canseco?"

One of the other players grabbed Jose's hand and showed me a birthmark across the back of it, as if that would somehow confirm his identity. I didn't know who he was, so how was I expected to know he had a birthmark? And it was one butt-ugly birthmark, believe me: a big brown spot about the size of an egg, with fur-like hair growing out of it. It looked sort of like a cockroach. For a moment, I thought about shaving it down and drawing little legs along both sides to make it look even more roach-like.

"That's very attractive," I said.

Jose laughed. "Can I take you to lunch sometime?"

"Okay," I said. I didn't think there was any harm in that. I jotted my number on a paper napkin and slid it across the table.

"Thanks," he said, pocketing the napkin. "I'll call you later."

They ate quickly and left -- I heard them talking about going to The Circus, a nearby strip club -- and I went on with my day, feeling a little giddy about the encounter. He was so handsome, with that dark skin and jet-black hair, and so polite. And on top of that he was a famous baseball player.

He called Hooters a couple of hours later, looking for me, and asked if I'd meet him at the Radisson when I got off work. I didn't think that was a good idea, but I spoke to my housemate, Cathleen, and we decided there was strength in numbers.

When we got there, Jose was waiting for us with one of the other players, and it was clear he wanted to hook him up with Cathleen, but that wasn't going to happen. Cathleen wasn't into the guy, and she said she wanted to leave. I honestly didn't feel right, either. I didn't like being in Jose's hotel room, and I felt icky in my greasy Hooters outfit. I have this thing about cleanliness. I feel better when I'm clean and pretty.

I told Jose that we were going to take off, assuming he'd make time for me if he was genuinely interested. He was disappointed, but he didn't get all pouty, like most guys do. He asked me if I'd have lunch with him the next day, and I said yes, and he told me to come by and pick him up before noon.