Originally written on Minus Twenty-Two  |  Last updated 10/22/14

Via Minus Twenty-Two:

While Yoenis Cespedes was putting together an impressive rookie season — hitting .292 and smashing 23 home runs — last year as the A’s rallied to win the division, the outfielder was going through harrowing times off the field as his family attempted to leave Cuba and join him in the United States.Cespedes journey from Cuba the year before went relatively smooth, though it did have its share of problems along the way. The journey for his mother and relatives, however, included unimaginable hardships that sound like something out of “Survivor” or “Cast Away.”

In August last year, Cespedes’ family, by this time with residency established in the Dominican Republic, attempted to make their way by boat to Turks and Caicos, hoping to elude Cespedes’ former agent, whom they did not trust. Along the way, however, their boat ran into problems, as the Chronicle explains in a profile of their trying expedition:

The voyage lasted 12 hours and ended short. At 6 a.m., the two drivers stopped at an uninhabited islet, little more than a patch of sand much smaller than a baseball field, due to rough seas and fear of a helicopter flying overhead.

The drivers refused to press on. But their passengers did not want to turn back, figuring they would be rescued soon enough. So they disembarked, with the drivers promising to call for help when they returned to the Dominican.

Céspedes’ relatives had a half dozen small water bottles and larger containers of water and formula for [Cespedes' cousin's infant daughter] Yaenis, who was 6 months old. They made a tent from a tarp left by the boat drivers and shaded the baby beneath it.

When they got hot, they dipped in the water. At night, to fight the cold, they lit a fire. And they huddled together in the sand to sleep.

“By the second day,” Céspedes’ cousin Aliuska Pérez, 29, recalled, “we were losing hope.”

To eat, they killed an iguana and a seagull. Neither was in the slightest edible. A couple crabs caught by the group was all they had to serve their hunger. By their third day on the island, they were too weak to speak. Meantime in the States, Cespedes was left on edge as his family’s status was unknown: “Those three days, I knew nothing.”

On the third day, however, help finally came in the form a yacht that took them to Turks and Caicos, where a prominent family helped them settle. But the group ran into even more problems when several members were held in detention under suspicion of human trafficking. Cespedes suspects his former agent might have played a part in their capture. After some intervention from the UN, the family members were eventually released. In March the group made it to South Florida and finally, after over a year, reunited with Cespedes.

Now, if that’s not made into at least a Lifetime movie, I guess Hollywood isn’t as predictable as I think it is.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Athletics News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.