Right before the deadline on July 31, 2015, GM Sandy Alderson acquired Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers after a whirlwind week for Mets fans. As fans all know by now, this trade altered the trajectory of the season and Cespedes become synonymous with the thrill ride in the same way Wilmer Flores did.
The ending, of course, isn’t what anyone envisioned back on that warm July afternoon but there is little doubt the neon sleeve, the Lion King music, and the absolutely Herculean blasts brought joy to Citi Field that had been dormant for some time. Without further adieu, let’s remember some of those times the slugger electrified the orange and blue faithful like only he could.
10. April 24, 2018, Mets vs. Cardinals
The 2018 season was the last time the slugger saw regular action for the Mets but he still left his mark when he blasted a shot into Big Mac land to tie up the game.
9. July 24, 2020, Mets vs. Braves
Sure nothing has gone right in 2020 but the slugger gifted the team one final moment and was the sole reason for their Opening Day win. It also entered him into the record books as the first DH to hit a home run in a National League game.
8. Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard ride horses in spring training
It’s no secret the outfielder has been a target by the media ever since he arrived in New York, but his teammates have never had anything but positive things to say about him. Syndergaard even took it a step further and the pair brought some levity to spring training.
7. August 12, 2015, Mets vs. Rockies
It took him a couple of weeks to settle in before going on an absolute tear in 2015. His first in the orange and blue came after he debuted a neon yellow sleeve, and coincidentally a little yellow bird was spotted at the stadium before the home run and thus the legend of the rally parakeet was born.
6. August 15, 2015, Mets vs. Pirates
It took awhile for fans to see him unleash the cannon but unleash it he did when he nailed a runner at third from the warning track in centerfield, prompting an excited “Oh wow!” from Gary Cohen.
5. July 20, 2018, Mets vs. Yankees
Cespedes’s return from the IL was certainly memorable in 2018. He blasted a home run off the foul pole, and then announced he needed surgery on both of his heels after the game. He literally hit a home run with two bad feet.
4. August 22, 2015, Mets vs. Rockies
The outfielder went on a tear after landing in Queens, so when the team went west to Colorado there was quite the anticipation of what he could do at Coors. He put on a show, collecting five hits and slugging three home runs, one of which was a grand slam.
3. April 26, 2016, Mets vs. Reds
It was a day off for the fearsome slugger after dealing with a leg issue, but when the Mets were down they called upon Cespedes in a key pinch-hitting situation late. He came in, rocketed a game-tying dinger on the first pitch he saw, and then left the ballpark as the ultimate mic, errr, bat drop.
2. September 9, 2015, Mets vs. Nationals
After getting shut down by Stephen Strasburg for most of the night, the Mets broke through off reliever Drew Storen. First it was Kelly Johnson, and then Cespedes did what Cespedes usually did in 2015, and tagged him for the go-ahead home run to help the Mets finish off the sweep of the Nationals. The frustration got to Storen, who slammed his lock box and broke his finger after the game.
1. October 13, 2015, Mets vs. Dodgers
Could there be any doubt of number one? With Citi Field already in a frenzy during Game 3 of the NLDS, Cespedes provided the exclamation point with a monstrous home run and epic bat flip for added affect. Citi exploded to levels it had not previously seen in its history. The first ever postseason game at Citi was a good one, capped off by an iconic moment from that postseason, and from Cespedes’s all too brief Mets’ career.