Sean Stackhouse / WEBN-TV

By Sean Stackhouse 3/8/2018

FT. MYERS, FL — Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora is no slouch when it comes to leadership roles with ball clubs. Cora served as bench coach for the Houston Astros, who won their first world series title in franchise history last season. As few remember however, Cora has managerial experience of his own. The former infielder was the general manager of Puerto Rico’s entry into the World Baseball Classic. But his connection to Puerto Rico and its players goes beyond just the WBC.

“I’ve known Alex since I was seven years old playing in Puerto Rico watching him play,” said Red Sox second base prospect Ivan De Jesus, Jr. “Now playing for him on the same team is awesome. Having a guy that is from your home city from Puerto Rico is fun.”

Cora has been a big inspiration for De Jesus, Jr. Since watching him on the field has a child, he knew Cora was someone special. “I saw him playing and he was one of those guys that was just magic,” he hadded.

Cora has influenced those outside of the Red Sox organization as well. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Jason Coats enjoyed his time with Cora. “I played for him in Puerto Rico and he’s a really good coach. He’s played for a long time so he has a lot of knowledge for the game.”

And even if players haven’t had the chance to play for him or admire his skills first hand, they still see his importance to the teams he’s been a part of.

“He’s been an inspiration for all of the players and for Latin players,” said Red Sox right fielder and Dominican Republic native Chris Madera.

He has also been recognized for his humanitarian efforts in his home county after the effects of Hurricane Maria. Cora brought many of his new Red Sox players to the island just before the start of spring training to help with the recovery by handing out supplies and offering assistance.