Head on down to a major league ballpark today and you’re likely to see an array of Maseratis, Ferraris, Land Rovers and Cadillacs going in and out of the players’ parking lot. Driven by their highest salaries ever, it seems that players, coaches and owners will spare no expense to arrive at the park in style. While it’s certainly a treat for a fan to get an autograph from a player as he pulls out of the lot in his fresh-from-the-showroom Maybach or Lamborghini, the simple fact is that the only thing drawing the fan to that player is his baseball-playing abilities. We here at CarGurus think that’s just wrong.
When seeking out an autograph from a baseball player, coach or team owner, there are many more factors to consider than just how well that individual plays, coaches or watches America’s pastime. Sure, a player could hit 40 home runs in a season, bat .300 and steal 30 bases, but if he arrives at the park in a white Range Rover (a car surprisingly common in baseball parking lots), what does that say about his personality, only desiring to blend in with the crowd like that?
In order to remedy this problem, we came up with a list of the 10 players, owners, managers and organizations with the coolest cars in baseball—cars that say something more about their owner than a car straight from a dealer’s lot ever could. Some of the cars on this list are supercars, others are much more, and yet many are much less.
10. Kicking off our list in the tenth spot is Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez with his Chevrolet Camaro SS. The only member of the Tigers to make the list, it is only fitting that V-Mart sports one of the most popular cars currently coming out of Detroit. Done by Miami’s MC Customs, Martinez had the car redone in black and orange with a matching interior. The whole thing came out beautifully—even the orange rims somehow look nice on Martinez’s machine. The only thing sweeter for Tigers fans than seeing this ride pull up outside Comerica Park would be seeing a healthy Martinez back in the lineup as the boys from the Motor City make another run at the World Series.
9. Next on our list is Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe and his customized Porsche Cayenne—or what’s left of it. Dubbed “The Best Car in Baseball” by Bloomberg Sports, Uribe’s ride is so over-the-top that even his fellow teammates and manager distance themselves from it. While that would normally deter us from naming a car like this to our list, the simple fact is that, while it is hardly possible to tell that the car is a Porsche anymore, the customization works beautifully—in a weird I’m-going-to-be-taking-off-at-any-moment sort of way. If Uribe can send balls flying as high as we’re sure his car does, the Dodgers will be in for a good year.
8. Coming in at No. 8 is an old fan favorite who most probably havent heard from in a while: Manny Ramirez. The EDA Rhinos (Chinese Professional Baseball League) slugger has a large assortment of vehicles in his collection, but perhaps none more special than this 1967 Lincoln Continental (which actually left his garage in 2008). While a member of the Boston Red Sox, Ramirez had the car redone (in Dodger Blue, of all colors) by Rad Rides of Chicago and then auctioned it off to raise funds for Boston’s Franciscan Hospital for Children. Sporting a 500-hp Ford Racing engine, custom Rockford Fosgate stereo and Flowmaster exhaust, the car speaks to Ramirez’s personality in a multitude of ways, showing off his flashy-yet-classy style while also speaking to the size of his heart, which made him a friend to many different charities during his career in Major League Baseball.
7. In at the seventh spot is none other than Big Papi: David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. A true car fan, Ortiz has an assortment of cars at his home, including Ferraris and an Audi R8. However, none are as nice as the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG that he tried to auction off in 2007. Purchased after winning the 2004 World Series, Ortiz had the car heavily customized and mainly used it to go to and from Fenway Park, appropriate given the fact that the car is the same color as the Red Sox’s, well, socks. The car won the 2006 award for Best Celebrity Car, and we include it here for the way it exemplifies Big Papi’s approach to baseball: a bit flashy and more than able to get the job done.
6. If you’re ever in the woods of St. Charles, Missouri, look out for Toronto Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle and his 2007 Ford F-650. While you most likely won’t see Buehrle cruising the streets of Toronto in this monster, you can expect to find him tearing it up somewhere in the great outdoors, as Buehrle purchased the rig specifically for hunting. Standing over 10 feet tall and weighing in at over 5 tons, what makes this behemoth so cool is the fact that, unlike many others, Buehrle plans to use it for what it was intended for: raising sheer mayhem in the backwoods.
5. It’s lights-out with our number 5 pick: Mariano Rivera‘s 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8. The New York Yankees closer had the car customized at Performance Industries in New Rochelle, NY, where he had the car’s body widened to give it a more aggressive stance. Rivera kept the car simple-looking, changing the body while staying true to the Challenger look and adding a slew of aftermarket performance accessories. The Sandman gets the fifth spot for creating a highly personalized high-performance beauty that nonchalantly whispers, “I’m the best,” before roaring away, leaving other Challengers staring at the “Game Over” Yankees badge emblazoned on the trunk.
4. It’s not often that a pitcher bats clean-up, but in the fourth spot we have Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay and his 1932 Ford roadster. Halladay picked up the car last year and it was a hit at the Phillies spring training facility in Clearwater, FL, where fans would wave to the Doc as he came and went in style. No word on the car’s specs, but it is heartwarming to see a player give a car like this the special treatment and attention it deserves.
3. In the No. 3 spot we have Red Sox owner John Henry and his stable of Ford Fusions and Mustangs. We know what youre asking and the answer is simple—these are not the same Fusions and Mustangs that you will find at your local Ford dealership. As co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, Henry’s cars compete in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. With the likes of Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenthouse, Jr., driving his cars, Henry should be able to make it to the park faster than any owner in baseball.
2. The runner-up title goes to Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, whose garage plays host to a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle and a 1967 Ford Galaxie. Last season got off to a hot start for the Rays when Maddon added the ’56 Chevy to his collection after receiving a 3-year contract extension in February. With such a collection of classic cars, a wife who supports his habit and a team that features players such as Evan Longoria, David Price and Fernando Rodney, were going to go ahead and replace Maddon’s runner-up title from our list with the title of Baseball’s Happiest Manager.
1. What do you get when you break an 86-year-old curse and sweep the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series? You get an amphibious parade through Boston on Red Sox Nathan, the coolest car in baseball. Christened by Wally the Green Monster at Fenway Park in 2004, Red Sox Nathan (owned by Boston Duck Tours) is a replica of the DUKWs (Ducks) used by the Allies in World War II. Capable of transporting a team of world champions down Boylston Street and then up the Charles River amidst millions of screaming fans, Red Sox Nathan was a huge part of one of baseball’s most famous seasons, seeing the Red Sox break the Curse of the Bambino and take home the 2004 World Series Trophy. We’re not saying that Nathan was the sole reason for Boston’s win, but it is rare that a vehicle gets to play such a large role in a championship season, and for that, Red Sox Nathan is indeed the coolest car in baseball.
Which of the cars on this list would you most like to drive? Any other great baseball cars that should have made our list?