Joey Cora: Mets Third Base Coach (2022)

Jose Manuel Cora Amaro
was born on May 14th,1965 in Cagus, Puerto Rico. The five-foot five switch hitting second baseman was a first-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1985.

Drama: While playing with the AA Beaumont Golden Gators, Cora had words with fans of the opposing team in San Antonio, Texas. After the game the two men assaulted, then stabbed him in his arm & stomach. He was rushed to the hospital & after six weeks on the disabled list, made a full recovery. A man was caught at the scene & was charged with attempted murder.

In 1987 Cora made his MLB debut with the Padres, playing in 77 games for the Padres, sharing time at second base behind Tim Flannery. He spent 1988 in the minors then played in parts of the next two seasons. At the end of Spring Training 1991 he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, along with Warren Newsome for Adam Peterson & Steve Rosenberg. 

White Sox Career: He would spend four seasons with
the White Sox, mostly as a backup second baseman, making the post season in 1993. In 1991 he played 100 games behind Scott Fletcher at second base, stealing 11 bases while batting .241. The following year he played behind Steve Sax (68 games) batting .246.

In 1993 he was the AL Western Champion White Sox main second baseman, leading the league in sac flies (19) defensive games at second base (151) & errors (19) while batting .268 with 15 doubles 9 hit by pitches (9th in the NL) 20 stolen bases & scoring 95 runs. 

1993 Post Season: Cora drew a pair of walks in Game #1 of the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. He had two hits in the Sox Game #3 win & drove in a run in the Whie Sox Game #5 win as well. Overall, the Blue Jays won the series in six games advancing & winning the World Series.

After the strike shortened 1994 season, he was granted free agency & then signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Mariners Career: Cora would have his best years, being the main second baseman for some good Mariners teams, over the next three years, making the post season twice.

In 1995 he batted .297 stealing 18 bases posting a .359 on base % while playing in 120 games. That year he had a 24-game hit streak which was a Seattle franchise best until broken by Ichiro Suzuki. It was also an AL record for switch hitters until broken by Jose Offerman. 

1995 Post Season: In the ALDS he had three different two hit games & collected a big base hit in the bottom of the 11th of the final Game #5 against the AL New York team. He dragged a bunt single off Jack McDowell, then slid into first base reaching safely. He advanced to second on Ken Griffey Jr.'s base hit. Cora then scored the tying run-on Edgar Martinez's double to left field which also scored Griffey with the walk off game winning run. The Mariners took the game & clinched the series. 



Seattle would lose to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. Cora went 4-23 in the Series with two 
steals.

In 1996 he batted .291 scoring 90 runs, hitting 37 doubles 6 HRs & 45 RBIs. In 1997 he had career bests in at bats (574) hits (172) doubles (40- 4th most in the AL) HRs (11) & RBIs (54). 

He made his only All-Star team that year, coming in as a pinch runner going 0-1 in the AL win at Jacobs Field, Cleveland. At second base he led the league in put outs & turned 81 double plays (4th most). In the ALDS loss to the Baltimore Orioles Cora collected three hits.

As Seattle fell out of contention the next year, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for David Bell. 

Indians Career: He drove in six runs & batted .229 for the AL Western Champion Indians that September, making his fourth post season appearance. In that post season, he went 1-17 with five walks, as Seattle advanced to the ALCS but lost the series.

Career Stas: In an 11-year career Cora batted .277 with 1035 hits 171 doubles 41 triples 30 HRs 294 RBIs 117 stolen bases & 624 runs scored in 1119 games. In 970 games at second base he made 123 errors (leading the league three times in that category) posting a .970 fielding %.

Retirement- Coaching Career: Cora began coaching with the Chicago Cubs (200-2002). He then joined his old teammate Ozzie Guillen on the White Sox staff in 2003, getting promoted to bench coach & was a member of the 2005 Chicago Championship team. He often filled in as interim manager when Guillen was either suspended or ejected from games. He remained with the White Sox coaching staff thru 2011. 

He then moved on to the Florida Marlins working under Guillen once again. In April 2012 he took over as manager for the five games Ozzie Guillen was suspended for, after making comments related to Fidel Castro. From 2017-2021 Cora was a third base coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Mets Career: In 2022 he joined the Mets organization as the team's third base coach under manager Buck Showalter. His aggressive coaching at third has led to exiting base running & runs being scored.

Broadcaster: Cora has worked as an analyst on the MLB network.

Family: His older brother Alex Cora is manager of the Boston Red Sox. He led the club to their 9th worlds championship, as they became the first team to win four championships in the 21st century. In his 14 year playing career, he spent two seasons with the New York Mets (2009-2010).

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