PORT ST. LUCIE — The best car he ever drove to work, Reggie Jackson recalled Wednesday, was a 1970 Chevelle LS6 SS454. He brought it to the A’s camp in Mesa, Ariz., during spring training of 1971.
Google that now, and you’ll find a website (HeacockClassic.com) touting this as “The Ultimate Muscle Car.”
“I made a $1,500 down payment on it,” Mr. October told The Post in a telephone interview, “and then I paid $50 monthly.”
Reggie is an accomplished car collector, so if we relocated him to Tradition Field, he probably wouldn’t be as blown away as everyone else by Yoenis Cespedes’ colorful assortment of vehicles. The Mets’ folk hero/center fielder reported to work Wednesday morning, shortly after 8 o’clock, in a Lamborghini Aventador, with multiple media outlets (including The Post, naturally) staking out the players’ parking lot in anticipation of his arrival.
The Lamborghini didn’t quite match the three-wheeled Polaris Slingshot he brought with him on Tuesday. Then again, he had set the bar pretty high.
“I don’t see anything wrong with that,” Jackson said of Cespedes’ one-man car show. “He can drive them for two months, and then, when he gets done with them, he can donate them to that [1-877-KARS4KIDS]. He can just leave the truck [Sunday’s white Ford F-250 pickup] at the ballpark.”
He added, “I don’t know what a Polaris Slingshot is.”
No one sees anything wrong with this. On the contrary, the mood in Mets camp so far can be described as a blend of giddy and gleeful, and Cespedes and his cars serve as the nexus. It isn’t just the media that has grown obsessed with the Cesmobiles. Mets players and coaches have scampered from the clubhouse to the parking lot for a look at — and a photo of — the latest from the Yo Collection.
“I don’t have no more cars. That’s it,” Cespedes told The Post’s Mike Puma on Wednesday; perhaps this saga will come to a close. Nevertheless, it already has provided pizzazz and buzz to a typically quiet period of spring training and strengthened the Mets’ burgeoning identity as a fun, colorful team.
The Mets couldn’t embrace this phenomenon any more enthusiastically. They tweeted photos of the Slingshot and the Lamborghini; might as well get a few more followers for their account. When a few Mets employees went to a local Dairy Queen on Tuesday night, they found an ice cream cake featuring a photo of a car. They purchased the cake, and on Wednesday, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon presented it to a laughing Cespedes in an impromptu ceremony.
“I see it as him having fun,” Jackson said of Cespedes. “It would be different if he spent four or five million dollars on six cars. Then, I would say this guy’s making great investments.”
Reggie mixed his flashy cars with flashy quotes and tape-measure home runs, and his marketing empire expanded to launching a Reggie! candy bar, which led to the all-time quote by Catfish Hunter: “When you open up a Reggie! Bar, it tells you how good it is.”
Cespedes comes off as more of a low-key diva, if such a species exists. Each arrival, no matter the mode of transportation, has been well ahead of the start time for the position-player workouts, which are voluntary anyway. He doesn’t say much to anyone once he enters the premises. Between his arrival at the complex and his stepping onto the field, the show’s in intermission.
On Wednesday, he asked a team employee to drive to a nearby Target to purchase a waffle maker that makes round, not square, waffles. That’s how he likes his waffles. In return, he let the employee drive the Lamborghini to Target.
“I wouldn’t worry about what he drove to the ballpark,” Reggie said. “I’d worry about him when he gets in the batter’s box.”
To date, the re-upped Cespedes has caused the Mets no worries at all. If his production on the field even comes close to his social-media value, then this will be one heck of a mutually prosperous relationship.