The Los Angeles Dodgers have been part of countless memorable moments throughout the franchise’s history, and perhaps one of the more improbable highlights involved Alex Cora on May 12, 2004.
With the Dodgers holding a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs, Cora stepped into the batter’s box with a runner on first base and nobody out in the seventh inning. The plate appearance began with Cora taking the first three pitches, working a 2-1 count.
He then proceeded to foul off 14 consecutive pitches. By the time Cora fouled off the 11th pitch, the crowd at Dodger Stadium began to rise to its feet. Tension and anticipation was palpable.
“The crowd is loving it,” Vin Scully said on the telecast. “You ever see so much excitement? And nothing has even happened. That’s what’s so funny about it.”
Dodger Stadium went into hysteria when Cora hit a fly ball to right field on the 18th pitch of his at-bat. Sammy Sosa went back until he couldn’t anymore. Cora’s two-run homer extended the Dodgers’ lead to 4-0, which held as the final score.
With their win, the Dodgers improved to 22-10, which was their best start since the 1983 club began the season 23-9.
The home run was Cora’s second of the season and 19th of his career. While Cora etched himself in Dodger lore at the time, the 2004 season was his last with the organization that selected him in the third round of the 1996 Draft.
Furthermore, he would go on to become the subject of frustration and anger for the Dodgers and their fans. During his tenure as Houston Astros bench coach, Cora was found to have been a key figure behind the team’s electronic sign stealing.
The Astros’ illicit actions helped them win the 2017 World Series, which of course came at the expense of the Dodgers. Cora’s role also cost him his managerial position with the Boston Red Sox.
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