Yoenis Cespedes buys 270-pound grand champion hog at county fair

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had so much fun at the St. Lucie County Fair on Saturday night that he returned a day later and purchased a $7,000 grand champion hog raised by a local 4-H member.

"He was in a bit of a bidding war for it," a team spokesman said.

Sandy Croghan of Port St. Lucie, Florida, said her 14-year-old grandson Cole Pallas raised the hog, which won its 270-pound weight class, then prevailed over 25 to 30 other champion hogs of assorted weights.

The proceeds from the auction benefit the 4-H club.

Cespedes was supposed to be at the fair with several teammates Saturday night, but snarled traffic forced many Mets players to turn around without entering.

Cespedes -- who arrived at the fair earlier in the evening, before the traffic issue, wearing full cowboy gear -- watched the hog competition that night. He then returned Sunday in more standard attire and won the bidding for the champion.

"He asked one of the people at the rodeo, 'Well, what would you buy?'" Croghan said. "[A bystander] said, 'The best one is the grand champion.' So he said, 'That's the one I want.'"

Cole and his excited family posed for photographs with Cespedes after the auction.

"His family was there. He was very, very sweet," Croghan said about Cespedes. "He took pictures with my daughter and everybody. And he autographed a bat for Cole."

Cole, who lives with his parents in nearby Fort Pierce, Florida, is a big fan of the St. Lucie Mets -- the organization's Class A affiliate in the Florida State League. He has been attending the minor league club's games since he was 5 years old.

"He would bring a duffel bag full of bubble gum and give it to the players," Croghan said.

Cespedes had already created a stir by bringing six tricked-out vehicles to camp his opening week at spring training.

On Tuesday, he traded in some horsepower for the real thing, however, as he arrived at Mets camp with a pair of his horses. Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard had convinced Cespedes to perform the stunt. The two then rode on horseback in the players' parking lot.

As for the champion hog, its long-term prognosis might not be so good. Cespedes has a documented history of participating in roasts.