Soon after trade, Yoenis takes time to bring joy to kids

Soon after trade, Yoenis takes time to bring joy to kids

Yoenis Cespedes had only been a Detroit Tiger for less than 24 hours. He has been a hero to kids in a tough spot for a while, whatever uniform he has been wearing.

While most of Detroit was still trying to digest the Tigers' latest offseason trade, Cespedes was in South Florida trying to pass along a little happiness to others. He had scheduled a visit to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and he wasn't going to miss it.

Cespedes' reaction to being traded out of Boston probably wasn't that much surprise, given the rumors that had been percolating for weeks. It certainly couldn't compare to the surprise of one kid to ride around in Cespedes' Lamborghini along the streets of South Florida.

By all appearances, it's the kind of car that could rival new teammate Justin Verlander's orange Lamborghini, and it brightened one kid's day.

Though Cespedes has bounced around the American League over the past six months, from Oakland to Boston to Detroit, he has settled in South Florida as his offseason home. He has also become a visitor at the hospital, trying to do what he can to help.

"It's an honor that after establishing a long-standing personal and professional relationship with the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, I'm able to give back and help in their efforts to continue research and quality care for children," Cespedes said in a statement through his representatives at Roc Nation Sports.

The relationship supposedly began after a family member needed special medical care shortly after Cespedes made Florida his home after his defection from Cuba. Cespedes visited the facility and saw plenty of kids in need. He also saw the mission the hospital was trying to fulfill.

It was the first pediatric hospital in Broward County when it opened in 1992, through the help of another great outfielder. Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio cut the ribbon at the opening, and was around for the opening of the first pediatric emergency department, the pediatric cardiac surgery program and the "Visitors' Clubhouse" for families of hospitalized children. The clubhouse was later named in honor of former Marlins great Jeff Conine, another longtime supporter.

More recently, the 204-bed facility has had Cespedes' support.

"Yoenis has been working with the hospital for a few years," hospital spokesperson Don Eachus said in an email. "Yoenis has been a donor and a visitor multiple times to the hospital."

Eachus noted that Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a South Florida native, visits and donates as well.

On his latest visit, Cespedes visited with several kids, signing autographs, posing for pictures and handing out Tigers caps. He also met with hospital administrators and staff, and capped the stop with a $40,000 donation.

On a day when his mind could've easily been elsewhere after his trade, it was on kids in a much tougher transition than his.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.