Cora with the Nationals on May 22, 2011
October 18, 1975 |
Caguas, Puerto Rico
|Batted: Left||Threw: Right|
|June 7, 1997 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2011 for the Washington Nationals|
|Runs batted in||486|
|Career highlights and awards|
José Alexander "Alex" Cora (born October 18, 1975 in Caguas, Puerto Rico) is a retired professional baseball infielder who is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN. He played college baseball at the University of Miami.
Cora was drafted in the 12th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft by the Minnesota Twins, but did not sign a contract and decided instead to play collegiate baseball at the University of Miami. While there, Cora was named to the College World Series all-tournament team in both 1995 and 1996. He led the team to the title game in 1996, a game they lost to Louisiana State University.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Having been rated by Baseball America as the best collegiate defensive player going into the 1996 draft, Cora was once again drafted, this time by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round. Cora made his major league debut on June 7, 1998 for the Dodgers, and spent the next seven years in Los Angeles, batting .246 with 27 home runs and 173 RBIs. During his time with the Dodgers, he played at second and shortstop. During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, Cora mostly played shortstop as the Dodgers moved the aging Mark Grudzielanek to second base. With the emergence of César Izturis in 2002, and the trade of Grudzielanek to the Chicago Cubs in December of the same year, Cora spent the rest of his stint with the Dodgers as their primary second baseman.
On May 12, 2004, Cora had an 18-pitch at-bat against Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Matt Clement. Facing a 2–1 count, Cora fouled off 14 straight pitches before finally hitting a home run. It is the third longest documented at-bat since baseball statisticians began keeping track of pitch counts in the mid-1980s. So much time elapsed that Cora's brother Joey joked that he and Jay Fritz were watching the game at a restaurant ordering their first beer during the first pitch, and, by the time Cora homered, Cora and Fritz were "so drunk that we had to call a cab to take us home."
During the 2004 offseason, Cora signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Indians, where he appeared in 49 games, with 22 starts at shortstop and 14 at second base. He batted .205 with a home run and 8 RBIs. On July 7, 2005, Cora was traded to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Ramón Vázquez.
Boston Red Sox
In Boston, Cora was originally intended to provide a suitable backup for shortstop Edgar Rentería. With the trade of Rentería to the Atlanta Braves before the start of the 2006 season, Cora was being eyed to take the position of starting shortstop until the Red Sox acquired Álex González. Also, Cora batted .238 with one home run and 18 RBIs.
Cora has played in the two longest nine-inning games in MLB history. The first was a 4-hour, 27-minute game on October 5, 2001 between the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. The second game, and the longest on record, was a 4-hour, 45-minute game on August 18, 2006, in the second game of a double header between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. During his years with Boston he was used mostly as a pinch- runner. However, he did well in his hitting as used in the game as the Red Sox shortstop.
New York Mets
On January 22, 2009, Cora signed a one-year deal with the New York Mets. After the 2009 season, Cora re-signed with the Mets for another year, with an option for 2011 as well, on November 30, 2009. He was released on August 7, 2010. In his time with the Mets, he appeared in 144 games, with a .234 batting average.
On August 17, 2010, he signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City. The Rangers released Cora on September 7. Despite only playing with the Rangers for 6 days, the Rangers ownership still rewarded Alex with an AL Championship ring.
In January 2011, it was reported that the Nationals agreed to sign Cora to a minor league contract. He appeared in 91 games for the Nationals, batting only .224.
St Louis Cardinals
Following the 2011 season, Cora played winter ball in Puerto Rico, after which he announced his retirement from baseball. However, he changed his mind shortly after, and agreed to a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals on February 5, 2012. After batting .208 with one RBI in 24 plate appearances in spring training, Cora was released by the defending World Series champions on March 25, 2012.
During spring training of 2012, Alex Cora signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. He was released from the organization before the start of the regular season. Cora retired again after batting just .111 in Spring Training.
- Amalie Benjamin (January 13, 2009). "An at-bat for the ages". boston.com. Retrieved August 26, 2006.
- Mets sign Alex Cora to a one-year contract
- Former Nats: Alex Cora announces retirement
- Cora joins Cards on Minor League deal, MLB.com (Feb. 6, 2012)
- "Cardinals release Alex Cora & Koyie Hill". Associate Press via KTVO-TV website. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Hudak, Kristen (February 19, 2013). "Aex Cora Joins ESPN as MLB Analyst in Multiplatform Role" (Press release). ESPN MediaZone.
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- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)