Joey Cora to throw out Ceremonial First Pitch on Opening Day

Cora_Blog

Joey Cora, the scrappy second baseman who was a fan favorite during his years with the Mariners, has been tabbed to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day April 6.

Cora, who was affectionately known as Little Joey Cora due to his small stature, played for the Mariners from 1995-1998. During that time, he endeared himself to fans with his hustle and enthusiasm and his tearful reaction to the Mariners heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Indians in the 1995 American League Championship Series.

Cora had an 11-year career as a Major League player with the Padres (1987, 1989-1990), Mariners, White Sox (1991-1994) and Indians (1999). He was also a member of the coaching staffs of the White Sox (2004-2011), where he won a World Series championship ring in 2005, and with the Miami Marlins (2012).

His time in Seattle was Cora’s most productive at the plate. His best year was 1997 when he hit a career high .300, and was named an alternate to the American League All-Star team. His 24-game hitting streak that year was a Major League record for a switch hitter, and stood as a Mariners record until it was broken by Ichiro Suzuki. Teammate Randy Johnson told the Seattle P-I in 1997 that Joey was “the ideal leadoff hitter.” He also described him as “our sparkplug” who “makes things happen.”

Joey was also active in the community. He established the Joey Cora Children’s Foundation and hosted an annual event called Joey Cora Night of Stars where fans were entertained by famous Latin musicians and rubbed shoulders with baseball players. The events raised money for a treatment center for HIV-positive kids in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico, and for children’s health and education programs here in Washington.

Opening Day pregame ceremonies will start around 12:30pm. Game time is 1:10 pm against the Los Angeles Angels.

Joey Cora played four seasons with the Mariners (1995-98) and was part of two playoff teams.

Joey Cora played four seasons with the Mariners (1995-98) and was part of two playoff teams.

6 Comments

Joey Cora!!!! Wow, the M’s marketing strategy is pretty good this year. Funny commercials, beard hats, hats with bottle openers, soft M’s bear hats, old school players that we all know and love… and of course, infamous bobbleheads.

Props M’s marketing team. Props.

A great choice. Never forget his sad feeling as Alex tried to console him. A terrific human being

Loved watching him.

No one who saw it will ever forget Joey sitting there, in tears, totally dejected. He might be little on the outside, but he has an enormous heart, and anyone knows “Ya gotta have heart……….” Love that guy!

Love you Joey!

Joey Cora was a huge favorite of mine. Even in seemingly hopeless situations, he would come to the plate and do SOMETHING! It didn’t have to be a huge hit even, but it was usually something that gave us a spark and changed the momentum!
My ex and I called him my “Joey-bug” because he was SO darn cute, too.
I can close my eyes and hear the music that was played when he came to the plate. Great Mariner Memories! If I lived within a 1000 miles of Safeco, I would be there!🙂

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