Position: Second Baseman
- Vanderbilt University
- San Diego Padres (1987-1990)
- Chicago White Sox (1991-1994)
- Seattle Mariners (1995-1998)
- Cleveland Indians (1998)
- 1997 All-Star
- Drafted in the first (23rd pick) of the 1985 amateur baseball draft by the San Diego Padres
Beaumont Golden Gators
As a member of the Beaumont Golden Gators (now there’s a random forgotten team for you) Cora received national attention when on June 22, 1986 he was stabbed after a game in San Antonio, TX. Cora was stabbed by two men while waiting for the team bus after the game. He was stabbed once in the stomach and once in the arm. Cora was quickly rushed to the hospital and later made a full recovery after spending six weeks on the disabled list. A man named Jose Puente, 29, was caught at the scene and was later charged with attempted murder. No motive was ever given for the crime. (Wikipedia)
Here are two famous ex-Beaumont Golden Gator Players that you might know:
Pat Casey (Led Oregon State University to two College World Series titles)
Cora spent his first three seasons with the Padres averaging .274 batting average. In 1991, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox where he hit .276 in 1994. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners on April 6, 1995.
Cora is perhaps best remembered for his time in the Seattle Mariners organization where he hit .297, .291 and .300 in 1995, 1996 and 1997 respectively. Cora was a key piece of the Seattle Mariners 1995 ALCS run. Cora was an All-Star in 1997 hitting 11 home runs, 54 rbi’s and 105 runs in 1997.
1995 Mariners is a good blog to check out for memorable stories from the Mariners’ 1995 Playoff run.
Cora was nicknamed “Little Joey” by the Mariners fans because of his hustle, grit and good nature. (Wikipedia). Marty from Marty’s Mariners Blog notes:
“What he didn’t have in physical ability, he made up for in shear determination.” –Marty’s Mariners
After being eliminated by the Cleveland Indians in game 6 of the 1995 American League Championship Series, Cora broke down into tears while Alex Rodriguez draped his arm across Cora’s shoulder and consoled him. This image was memorialized the following year with a very humorous promotional ad. The sensitivity and emotion Cora displayed made him particularly popular with young women in the Pacific Northwest, who would often hold signs at Mariners’ home game saying “Marry me, Joey!” (Wikipedia)
Cora spent most of the 1998 as a Mariner, but with the team falling out of contention he was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for David Bell. After being injured he signed a free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season, but retired without playing a game.
For Cora’s complete career statistics see the Baseball Almanac.
After retiring, Cora became a manager in the New York Mets minor league system. In 2003 he was hired by good friend Ozzie Guillen as a third base coach. He occasionaly serves as an interim manager when Guillen is suspended or ejected from a game. He also managed the Venezuelan Winter League baseball team Tiburones de la Guaira in the 2005-2006 season with a record of 31-31 (.500). Cora has been a finalist for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals managerial positions, suggesting that one day we will see Joey as a manager in the big leagues.
Joey won a World Series ring in 2005 while coaching the Chicago White Sox.
In 2005, Jermaine Dye lined a foul ball off of Joey Cora.
Joey’s younger brother Alex Cora is a middle infielder for the Boston Red Sox.
In 2006, while coaching the American League All-Star game, Joey Cora accidently hit Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano with a Fungo Bat. According to MLB.com, Zambrano backed into the bat while Cora was warming up the American League All-Stars.
Ever wonder how much Joey Cora’s baseball cards are worth? You’re not alone.