Alex Cora´s triumph in his historic debut as Boston Red Sox manager, taking the team to the World Series championship, speaks eloquently about the ability of our athletes to become great leaders of influence, beyond the athletic aspect.
We congratulate this “Cagüeño” for the place he won in the annals of a sport with deep roots in the United States and our island, and that is growing worldwide. The Red Sox won the World Series ring in an unprecedented campaign of 108 wins, the largest in the history of the franchise.
Cora is manager of one of the most traditional Major League franchises. With his wisdom, ability as strategist, empathy, honesty, intuition as well as technology and advanced statistics applied to the game, he got his players to believe in his message. He filled them with confidence to get an unprecedented win in the more than a century history of the Boston team.
Cora dabbled in baseball in little leagues when he was four. His years of effort were crowned with a scholarship from the University of Miami, where he obtained part of the academic preparation that has been crucial in his career. He is an expert on baseball, a discipline that he cultivated from different fronts: as a player, coach, general manager, television analyst and leader.
Anchored in his vocation and background, Cora has made his way in the baseball structure. He accumulated 14 seasons with six Major League teams, including Los Angeles Dodgers, where he debuted in the best baseball in the world and whom he beat on Sunday. He was Puerto Rican “Novena” general manager in the last World Baseball Classic. He served as general manager and manager of the “Criollos de Caguas” in winter baseball, and the Houston Astros´bench coach when they won the 2017 World Series. In addition, he worked as baseball analyst for ESPN.
One of his requirements to accept the Boston manager position was that the team´s main executives along with the franchise´s main players came to Puerto Rico to bring supplies after Hurricane María. His goal is for Boston and Puerto Rico to become allies, which adds significance to his achievement. Cora used his position and media exposure to make the Puerto Rican social situation visible after Hurricane María, to the point of describing as "disrespectful" Donald Trump´s tweets that questions the number of deaths associated with the hurricane.
Puerto Ricans, who have their favorite teams in Major League Baseball (MLB), closed ranks with Cora because he placed the island first. Boston, a very passionate and demanding city with its teams, embraced the Puerto Rican and his sports management abilities, but also his solidarity and social conscience.
No wonder, then, that he dedicated the World Series triumph to Puerto Rico and asked for authorization to bring the trophy here.
We will receive this Puerto Rican hero, who, at 43, sat among the greatest of the US baseball tradition. His sportive and human feats will inspire many children and young people who see in sports the realization of their dreams.
Institutional commitment to sports and the development of the leaders of the future must be clear. Excellent Puerto Rican baseball players in the Major Leagues encourages identification with baseball. It shows in the successful participation of our children in the little leagues, and in the Double A and winter baseball popularity. Academies have also opened the way for talented players.
Particularly in the United States, baseball is a powerful industry. Puerto Rico could increasingly participate driven by the brightness of our people here and abroad, so that we have more leaders like Alex Cora.
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