TORONTO -- Oakland Athletics outfielder Jose Canseco was delayed for nearly two hours early yesterday morning at the Toronto Airport before he was allowed to enter Canada.
Canseco was detained by Canadian immigration officials because of his 1989 plea bargain agreement on a gun possession charge. He arrived at the A's team hotel at 3 a.m.
The team charter had been four hours late leaving Oakland, Calif., and did not arrive at Toronto's Pearson International Airport until after midnight.
"I'm just glad I'm here," Canseco said before last night's game.
"It was just a misunderstanding," said Mickey Morabito, A's director of travel. "He had come into Canada five times since the gun incident with no problems.
"Anybody convicted of an offense that would be a felony in
Canada needs a minister's permit to come into the country. It was our understanding that because Jose had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and did community service, he did not need a permit. Until last night, he hadn't."
Morabito said an immigration official told him Canada did not recognize the distinction between a plea bargain and a conviction. Eventually, a temporary permit was issued and Canseco was allowed to go to the team hotel.
Canseco was arrested in 1989 after a gun was seen in his car while he was having his wrist X-rayed on the University of California at San Francisco campus.