Bash Brothers

Mark McGwire (left) and Jose Canseco (right) were named Rookie of the Year in consecutive years.

Mark McGwire 1989 (cropped)
Jose Canseco 1989 (cropped)

The Bash Brothers are a duo of former baseball players consisting of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. Both prolific home run hitters, the two were teammates in Major League Baseball (MLB) for seven seasons with the Oakland Athletics, helping the team win a World Series title in 1989.

The two began celebrating homers by bashing each other's forearms, which spawned a marketing campaign that was a takeoff on The Blues Brothers. After retiring from playing, Canseco and McGwire both admitted to using anabolic steroids during their careers.


Canseco was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 15th round of the 1982 MLB Draft. He did not become a legitimate power hitter until he began weightlifting in late 1984 and gained 35 pounds (16 kg) of muscle.[1] In 1985 he jumped from AA to AAA to the major leagues, and batted .300 at each level. In 29 games with Oakland that season, he batted .302 with five home runs (HR) and 13 runs batted in (RBI), and hit a combined 41 HR with 140 RBI at all levels that year.[2]

McGwire played college baseball for the USC Trojans, and set a school record with 32 HR in his junior year.[3] He played for the United States national team in the 1984 Summer Olympics before being selected by the A's in the first round of the 1984 draft.[4] In two-plus years in the minor leagues, McGwire hit 48 HR.[3] He debuted with the A's as a third baseman in August 1986.[4]

Oakland A's

The outfielder Canseco was named the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 1986 when he hit 33 homers, and McGwire captured the award the following season, when he was moved to first base and hit a league-leading 49 home runs, a major-league record for rookies.[3] The two combined for over 200 home runs as Oakland captured the AL pennant in three consecutive seasons from 1988 through 1990, winning the World Series in 1989.[5][6][7] In 1988, Canseco was unanimously voted the AL Most Valuable Player after batting .307 and leading the majors with 42 HR and 124 RBI. He also added 40 stolen bases (SB), which combined with his home run total made him the first major leaguer to ever reach the 40–40 club.[8] Starting with spring training that year,[9] Canseco and McGwire began a ritual of meeting at home plate and banging their massive forearms together with closed fists to briefly form an "X" when either of them hit a home run.[9][10] Dubbed the Monster Bash, it soon replaced the customary high five as the team's preferred post-homer celebration.[11][12] The practice was mimicked by Little Leaguers, college players, and minor leaguers. It was also performed by the United States national team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea.[9]

At the Oakland Coliseum, T-shirts and banners bore "Let's Bash".[13] The A's marketing department teamed with local San Jose television station KICU-TV to make a song and complementary music video to the tune of "Monster Mash", the 1962 hit by Bobby "Boris" Pickett.[14][15] The "Monster Bash" video debuted on the Coliseum’s large Mitsubishi DiamondVision during the A's homestand against the Chicago White Sox on April 15–17, but was temporarily shelved after Oakland was swept in the three-game series.[15] However, the A's released the song to local radio stations, and it ended up on the playlists of almost a dozen of them, whose formats varied from top 40, oldies, new age, and even news/talk.[14] The video later returned to the stadium as well.[15]

Bash Brothers poster
Poster for "The Bash Brothers" was a takeoff from The Blues Brothers

Costacos Brothers Inc., a poster company, had already planned a photo shoot with the slugging duo for a concept that was originally titled the "Blast Brothers", but the advent of the forearm bashing motivated a change to the "Bash Brothers".[16] While the industry standard at the time was to show action shots of athletes, Costacos Brothers gave their subjects amusing personas matched with catchy slogans.[17] The Bash Brothers poster was patterned after characters popularized by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.[11] Canseco and McGwire were made to look like a bigger and meaner version of The Blues Brothers who were also partial to some yellow in their attire—yellow being an A's team color along with green.[5][18] Wearing black suits, black shoes, black hats, black sunglasses, yellow socks, yellow shirts, skinny ties, and fedora hats, the duo posed in front of an Oakland Police patrol car while holding giant 5-foot (1.5 m) baseball bats.[5][9][16] The poster sold 50,000 copies in the San Francisco Bay Area in less than three weeks.[19] It was as popular as any poster that Costacos had done, and it received immense press coverage.[16]

Due to the frequency and distance of their home runs, the Bash Brothers were a popular attraction in every American League city.[20] McGwire became the first player in major league history to hit 30 home runs in his first four seasons (1987–1990),[21] and Canseco led the majors in homers for the second time with 44 in 1991.[22][23] However, the Athletics finished in fourth place in the AL West in 1991 after having made three straight trips to the World Series.[21] At the trade deadline in 1992, Oakland traded Canseco to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Rubén Sierra, relief pitcher Jeff Russell, and starting pitcher Bobby Witt.[23] The A's at the time were 27 games above .500 and leading their division by ​7 12 games, but they had played 34 of 131 games without Canseco, and were seeking to strengthen their pitching.[24][25] He had homered 231 times with the A's since 1985,[26] and was arguably the biggest celebrity in baseball at the time.[24] However, Canseco had played over 135 games in a season just once since 1988, and his off-the-field antics had drawn criticism as well.[23][24]

After four seasons with Texas and one with Boston, Canseco returned to Oakland in 1997. The A's had been languishing for three seasons with a combined 196–224 record, and were having a nondescript offseason before acquiring him for pitcher John Wasdin.[27][28] Reuniting him with McGwire, who together were once one of the most explosive tandems in baseball, boosted the team's ticket sales considerably.[7][29] McGwire was coming off of a majors-leading 52-homer season, and Canseco remained a threat with his tremendous bat speed.[27] However, McGwire's contract was expiring at the end of the season,[27] and he was traded mid-season to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitchers T. J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick, and Blake Stein.[30] Canseco's season was just ordinary,[29] and he signed in the offseason with the Toronto Blue Jays, his fourth team in four years.[31] During their careers with Oakland, Canseco and McGwire combined to hit 617 home runs.[32]


With Toronto in 1998, Canseco played in 120 games for the first time since 1991,[33] and reached 100 RBI for the first time since 1991.[34] In his last big season, he had 46 HR, 107 RBI, and 29 SB for the Blue Jays.[33] He became a journeyman designated hitter before retiring in 2002.[34] He fell 38 home runs short of joining the 500 home run club, a milestone he had hoped to reach to bolster his chances of being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.[35] Unable to find a job to prolong his career, he accused teams of blackballing him.[5]

McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998 to break Roger Maris' long-standing major-league record of 61. It was the highlight of a four-year stretch from 1996 though 1999 in which McGwire hit 245 homers.[36] He finished his career with 583 home runs, and averaged one homer every 10.6 at-bats in his career for the best at bats per home run ratio in major league history.[37] He was considered a likely inductee into the Hall of Fame until allegations of his illegal use of steroids.[5]

Performance-enhancing drugs

On September 28, 1988, sports columnist Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post appeared as a guest on CBS News Nightwatch and alleged that Canseco, who was on his way to winning the MVP award that season, was "the most conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with steroids.”[38] Boswell did not print the allegations in the paper. According to George Solomon, who was the Post's sports editor, the newspaper required 100 percent certainty in what it published. "What Boswell said on CBS was Boswell’s opinion,” Solomon said.[38] In October against Boston during the 1988 American League Championship Series, Red Sox fans at Fenway Park loudly chanted "Ster-roids! Ster-roids!" when Canseco was on the field. He denied the charges, and steroids at the time were not covered in the federal government's Controlled Substances Act.[39]

During his home run record chase in 1998, McGwire was spotted with a bottle of androstenedione in his locker by Steve Wilstein of the Associated Press, which he eventually admitted to using. An over-the-counter bodybuilding substance, andro was a type of anabolic steroid that had been banned in other sports, but not yet in baseball.[40] “Everybody that I know in the game of baseball uses the same stuff I use,” McGwire said.[38] After setting the home run record, he announced that he had stopped using the substance to avoid setting a bad example to young kids.[40] Meanwhile, the locker discovery was written off by the public as the work of a prying reporter.[41]

In 2005, Canseco admitted to using steroids in his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big, which stated that he and McGwire injected steroids together while with Oakland. The book also accused other prominent players of using steroids.[5][42] McGwire initially denied the allegations,[42] before refusing to comment on steroids during a congressional hearing the following month.[40] In 2010, he too admitted to using steroids.[6] Canseco expressed regret in writing his book and apologized to McGwire in 2014, but his former teammate has spurned multiple attempts at reconciliation.[43]

Cultural references

In May 2019, the comedy group The Lonely Island imagined the Bash Brothers as rappers from their pre-World Series winning season of 1988 in a visual album entitled The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience.[44] Its release was timed with the 30th anniversary of the A's 1989 championship season.[45][46] Canseco said that he "loved" the video and could not “stop laughing."[46] In their first home game after its release, the A's tweeted at The Lonely Island about The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience and played one of its tracks, "Oakland Nights", at the Coliseum.[47]


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  40. ^ a b c Vecsey, George (January 12, 2009). "Voters Cannot Forgive or Forget Suspicions of McGwire's Drug Use". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013.
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Bash Brothers (disambiguation)

The Bash Brothers are a pair of former baseball players.

Bash Brothers may also refer to:

Nickname for Fulton Reed and Dean Portman in The Mighty Ducks (film series)

DJ Concept, co-founder of The Bash Brothers DJ Crew

The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, a Netflix musical comedy special by The Lonely Island

Bedtime for Toys

Bedtime for Toys is a multi-ethnic and multi-gender dance-rock band from the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, CA.

Chris Lynn

Christopher Austin Lynn (born 10 April 1990) is an Australian cricketer. Lynn is a right-handed top order batsman who plays for the Queensland Bulls in the Australian domestic cricket competitions. He was born in Brisbane, Queensland, and attended St Joseph's Nudgee College and the Queensland Academy of Sport. He is known for being an explosive batsman capable of hitting big sixes.

DJ Concept

DJ Concept is DJ and music producer from Long Island, New York. He is the co-founder of The Bash Brothers DJ Crew along with DJ Mickey Knox.

Jerry Before Seinfeld

Jerry Before Seinfeld is a Netflix original film that follows comedian Jerry Seinfeld as he returns for a standup routine at the New York City comedy club, Comic Strip Live, which started his career. The album of the special was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. This is his third special.

Monster Bash (disambiguation)

Monster Bash is a video game for personal computers.

Moster Bash may also refer to:

Monster Bash (pinball), pinball machine

Monster Bash, 1980s arcade game that inspired the Sega video game Ghost House

Monster Bash, celebration originated in baseball by the Bash Brothers that also inspired a song of the same name

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the RingCentral Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships.

One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the team was founded in Philadelphia in 1901 as the Philadelphia Athletics. They won three World Series championships from 1910 to 1913 and back-to-back titles in 1929 and 1930. The team's owner and manager for its first 50 years was Connie Mack and Hall of Fame players included Chief Bender, Frank "Home Run" Baker, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove. The team left Philadelphia for Kansas City in 1955 and became the Kansas City Athletics before moving to Oakland in 1968. They won three consecutive World Championships between 1972 and 1974, led by players including Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, ace reliever Rollie Fingers, and colorful owner Charlie O. Finley. After being sold by Finley to Walter A. Haas Jr., the team won three consecutive pennants and the 1989 World Series behind the "Bash Brothers", Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, as well as Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Rickey Henderson and manager Tony La Russa.

From 1901 to 2018, the Athletics' overall win–loss record is 8,931–9,387 (.488).

Seth Rogen's Hilarity for Charity

Seth Rogen's Hilarity for Charity is a stand-up comedy special to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease, that premiered on Netflix on April 6, 2018.

Stephanie Beatriz

Stephanie Beatriz Bischoff Alvizuri (born 10 February 1981) is an American actress best known for playing Detective Rosa Diaz in the NBC comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Jessica in the independent drama Short Term 12 (2013).

Super Monsters Furever Friends

Super Monsters Furever Friends is an 2018 American animation children's comedy television special starring Elyse Maloway, Vincent Tong and Erin Mathews set in the Super Monsters universe. With its length at 58 minutes, and the introduction of superpowered monster pets into the series, it is a significant expansion of the Super Monsters universe.It was released on April 16, 2019 on Netflix streaming.

The Lonely Island

The Lonely Island is an American comedy trio, formed by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone in Berkeley, California in 2001. The three first met in junior high, and went on to write and feature in the American TV program Saturday Night Live (SNL).

After graduating from college, they regrouped and moved to Los Angeles, where they struggled to find work and began making short films, combining absurdist comedy and occasionally music. Among the first performers to post their material on the Internet, they involved themselves with Channel 101, a non-profit monthly short film festival. Their popularity at the screenings led to unsuccessful pilot deals with Fox and Comedy Central, but also a writing job for the 2005 MTV Movie Awards. The show's host, Jimmy Fallon, recommended them to Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live.

The group was hired for SNL in 2005, with all three as writers and Samberg as a featured player. Bypassing the traditional process of pitching, they recorded their own material independently and submitted it to the program. Their second sketch to air, "Lazy Sunday", became an internet sensation, the first of many viral videos they produced while at SNL. They led their own division at the program — SNL Digital Shorts — which led to numerous viral videos, including "Motherlover", "Dick in a Box", "Jizz in My Pants", "I'm on a Boat", "Like a Boss", "I Just Had Sex", "Jack Sparrow", and "YOLO". Their musical comedic work has comprised four full studio albums: Incredibad (2009), Turtleneck & Chain (2011), The Wack Album (2013), and The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience (2019), along with a soundtrack album for their 2016 film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The three retired from SNL in the early 2010s, but occasionally make guest appearances.

The troupe has written, directed and starred in two feature-length films, Hot Rod, released in 2007, and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, co-produced by Judd Apatow and released in 2016.

The Lonely Island discography

The discography of American comedy music troupe The Lonely Island consists of three studio albums, one soundtrack album, twenty-four singles and thirty-six music videos. Group members Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone began creating live skits, comedy shorts and music parodies together in the early 2000s, having met the previous decade, during their high school years. The Lonely Island later caught the attention of television producer Lorne Michaels, who was impressed by their material. Michaels subsequently hired Samberg, Schaffer and Taccone as cast members and writers for his live sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Two musical shorts created by the group for the show, "Lazy Sunday" and "Dick in a Box", gained popularity on the Internet and garnered much media attention.The Lonely Island's 2008 single "Jizz in My Pants" later became the group's first entry on the United States Billboard Hot 100 record chart, where it peaked at number 72. Incredibad, their debut studio album, was released on February 10, 2009 and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200. It topped the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart and has sold 358,000 copies in the United States. "I'm on a Boat", the album's third single, peaked at number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2010 Grammy Awards. The single was later certified two times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).The Lonely Island released their second studio album Turtleneck & Chain on May 10, 2011. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 and became the year's top-selling comedy album in the United States. "I Just Had Sex", the album's first single, peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received a platinum certification from the RIAA. Three singles from Turtleneck & Chain – "I Just Had Sex", "Jack Sparrow" and "The Creep" – rank among the five highest-selling tracks in the history of the Billboard comedy singles chart. The Wack Album, the group's third studio album, was released on June 11, 2013. It debuted at its peak position of number ten on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 28,000 copies. "YOLO" was the most successful of the album's eight singles, peaking at number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2016, the group wrote, directed, and starred in the mockumentary comedy film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and also recorded its accompanying soundtrack album, which peaked at number 69 on the Billboard 200.

The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is a Netflix special by comedy rap group The Lonely Island. Billed as a "visual poem", the special is directed by Mike Diva and Akiva Schaffer and stars Andy Samberg and Schaffer as Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, respectively. It is presented as a rap album written and performed by Canseco and McGwire in the 1980s, when the pair was known as the Bash Brothers while playing for the Oakland Athletics. It was released along with an accompanying album on May 23, 2019. It was timed with the 30th anniversary of the A's 1989 championship season.

Key personnel
Important figures
World Series
Champions (9)
American League
Championships (15)
AL West Division
Championships (16)
AL Wild Card (3)

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