PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Yoenis Cespedes Cavalcade of Cars soon may come to an end.
After rolling into Mets camp on Friday morning in a tricked-out Jeep — the fifth different vehicle he’s taken to work in the last six days — Cespedes has just one more trick up his sleeve for Saturday.
“We got a surprise for you tomorrow, too,” Alex Vega, Ces pedes’ car customizer, said Friday. “I think tomorrow, you guys are really going to go crazy.”
Cespedes took delivery of the white Jeep on Friday after Vega worked feverishly to get the project done. The body features Cespedes’ No. 52 and the red seats are highlighted by white trim to look like the stitches on a baseball.
“It takes vision and you’ve got some ideas from the man himself,” said Vega, proprietor of The Auto Group in Miami, who counts several big-league stars among his clientele.
Cespedes was so excited to see the Jeep for the first time that he blurted out a curse word in Spanish. He and Vega pulled into the Mets players’ lot with music blaring from the custom speakers.
“It’s like a spaceship,” Cespedes said of the Jeep, which he counts as his favorite.
It’s got stiff competition. This week’s roster included a Lamborghini, an Alfa Romeo coupe, a Ford F-250 truck and a Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler that the slugger proclaimed his favorite to drive.
Indeed, Cespedes has come a long way. In Cuba, he never owned anything but a bicycle. His only other mode of transport was to walk.
When Cespedes came to the United States, he had Vega work on a GL-class Mercedes Benz. Vega called it “a soccer mom car.” Cespedes’ tastes have since become more exotic.
“Being in Cuba, I never thought I’d be here in the United States,” said Cespedes, who has commuted to the ballpark in roughly a million dollars worth of cars. “After I got here, I saw the possibilities. So I worked hard for it.”