Quick Stats: Cliff Floyd, World Series Champ/MLB Network analyst
Daily Driver: 2018 Bentley Bentayga (Cliff’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: See below
Favorite road trip: Fort Lauderdale to Orlando
Car he learned to drive in: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am
First car bought: 1991 Chevrolet Blazer
For a self-professed “big SUV guy,” 1997 World Series champion and now MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd, his 2018 Bentley Bentayga is the perfect ride. “I love everything about it,” he says, giving it a perfect 10. “I got the one that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, which is great, because I don’t use all the bells and whistles.”
Floyd especially loves that it rides like a sports car even though it’s an SUV. “It’s one of the best rides I’ve ever literally been in, and I’ve had the Bentley Flying Spur, I’ve had the Rolls-Royce,” he says, adding that he didn’t expect to buy the Bentayga the day he visited the dealership. “It’s one of those things, when I got in it, sometimes it’s like, ‘All right, I’ll come back and test-drive it again.’ I took it the day I got in it.”
For Floyd, his Bentayga is up there with the Rolls-Royce. “For me, it’s all about the ride, he says, noting that he used to focus more on changing tires and wheels to enhance his cars’ curb appeal. “I’ve gone away from that. I keep it stock, I keep it exactly how it comes, and that’s how it’s supposed to perform on the road.”
If Floyd had to criticize one thing about the Bentley, he would like more rear-seat legroom. “My son is tall. My wife drives the Range Rover extended version, and he lays back in the back seat there, and this one’s a little tight. He has to sit behind her,” he says.
Floyd purchased the long-wheelbase 2018 Range Rover HSE for its size and a roomier ride. Rating it a 9, it replaced a 2010 Mercedes-Benz S 550. “It’s big, and my kids could fit in there and be comfortable. Everything about it is over the top. I love it,” he says.
Car he learned to drive in
Floyd learned to drive in his mom’s 1978 Pontiac Trans Am. “I definitely wasn’t going to learn with a stick, so I learned with this,” he says with a laugh. “My neighbor drove a stick shift. She’s like, ‘You’ve got to learn to drive this.’ I was like, ‘Never.’”
His mom taught him to drive in the Trans Am around the city streets of Chicago’s South Side. “In Chicago I was trying to avoid potholes; it was bad. Then we moved out to the south suburbs where it was a lot better for me,” he says. The Pontiac may have been “super fast,” but she made sure he drove the speed limit, he recalls.
When his mom purchased another car, she gave him the Trans Am as his high school car. “I used to drive it to school, and her pet peeve was I never put enough gas in it. I was that cheap guy. I put $10 in and … see if I can go the whole week with it.”
Floyd thought it was the coolest car, and everyone wanted to ride with him, as well, even though there was a hole in the passenger-side floor. “My job over the summer was to make enough money to fix this hole. I used to caddy at a golf club, and I made the money,” he says. “I used to tell people, ‘Keep your feet up.’ I was like, ‘You don’t want to be the Flintstones in here.’ I tried to cover it up as much as I could because I didn’t want anybody laughing at me. When I had my girlfriend in the car, she used to just sit there with her feet up in the air because she was worried her foot was going to go through.”
Floyd’s suburban high school offered student parking, and every day he made sure he got the best parking spot. “We didn’t have that luxury in Chicago. I felt like it was the best car, once I got it fixed. I parked my car away from everybody because they used to ding your doors. So I used to park super far away. [I’d] get there early and walk. Even in the winter,” he says.
First car bought
Floyd’s first new car was a 1991 Chevrolet Blazer, which he bought right off the showroom floor after he got drafted to the Montreal Expos. “I was in the first round, and I think I signed for $200,000. First thing I did,” he says, laughing. “We ended up buying a new home for everybody. I bought my mom a house, and then I lived there, as well, and I bought myself a Chevy Blazer.”
Floyd says the Blazer was picture perfect. “It was the best thing I ever could have bought for myself. I didn’t know I would be that happy and that excited about it, but when I purchased it, it was like my baby,” he says. “I washed it every day, parked it in the garage. I remember getting my first ding. We had this post in our garage, and for some dumb reason I decided to open my door and forgot the post was there and put a nice-sized dent in it. I think I cried for about a day and a half. Luckily the body shop dude was one of my dad’s friends, and he fixed it for free.”
Unlike some car owners, Floyd says the Blazer wasn’t something he’d always wanted. “I remember going to the dealership. Our neighbor worked there, and she was like, ‘You have to see this new truck that came out.’” he says. “Everybody in there was like, ‘You’ve got to have that truck. That’s all you.’ And they just pumped me up, and I bought it.”
Later, when he got to the majors with the Expos, he upgraded to his first splurge car, a black 1994 Lexus GS 400. “That was one of the best things,” he says. “At the particular time, Lexus was the hottest car fighting against Mercedes, [and that model] was one of their best ones.”
Floyd still remembers telling his buddies about his new car at the dealership. “I remember I went in there, and the guy said, ‘We’ve got this black Lexus GS 400, and it has these pinstripes on it.’ I’m like, ‘That sounds ugly.’ I get in there and I’m like, ‘I need that car.’ I’ll never forget this—I told my boys, ‘I got this car.’ They were like, ‘What car? What car?’ I hadn’t gotten it yet,” he says. “When I got back, they were like, ‘Where’s the car?’ I was like, ‘I haven’t gotten it.’ Yet I told my dad, ‘I’ve got to get this car tomorrow because I told my guys I purchased it already.’”
Although his buddies didn’t believe he was going to buy the Lexus, he pushed himself to get it. “I came back with it, and sure enough, everybody was going crazy about that car,” he says. “I had to. It was amazing.”
Favorite road trip
Floyd loves driving from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando. “Being down in Florida, the ride up the turnpike going north to Orlando has always been a great trip,” Floyd says. “I know it’s only three hours, but it’s one of the most peaceful three hours you have down there in Florida. I always just liked that ride. You get a cup of coffee, and you might be on the phone a little bit, or sometimes you just sit there and turn the radio off and just drive.”
He doesn’t like making longer road trips, but he enjoys this drive because of the scenery—and also because it’s quiet. “There’s not a lot of traffic. If you leave at the perfect time, you get a chance to just get on the open road and just ride,” he says. “And definitely not in the summertime because kids are out of school and a lot of people are going to Orlando for all the theme parks.”
After 17 years in the major leagues, Floyd is now an analyst on MLB Network’s shows, including the Emmy-award-winning flagship daily MLB Tonight.
“It’s a tremendous second part to your career. To have this and still be a part of the game, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” he says. “The people here, it’s amazing.”
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Like many pro athletes entering the next chapter of their careers, there was an adjustment period for Floyd. “It was scary. When you play the game, there’s always a challenge every day to be successful. This is the same thing. Every day is a challenge to be good, every day is different than the last,” he says. “You don’t come in here and act like you’ve played the game, you come here to learn something new. I think that’s the most important thing—I’ve learned something new every time I come in here, whether it’s something that you see on the field or some way you want to say something when you get on air. Whatever the case may be, you just try to get better each and every day like you did when you played.”
He said it’s been very interesting to go from playing baseball to being analyst. “It’s fun in itself because when you come off, you’re still on this high like you’ve played. It’s like an adrenaline rush just like when you stepped on the field and went out there and battled every day. I go on in 30 [minutes]. It’s this thing we have now that I hate to tell people: ‘I’ve got to go get makeup.’ It’s not a fun thing to tell people,” he says, trailing off with a laugh.
You can follow Floyd on Twitter and Instagram
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