When I think of Cora, I think of two things: one, his 18-pitch at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers and, two, my short conversation with him in 2009, when he was playing for the New York Mets. Let’s begin with the latter first.
The New York Mets and New York Yankees celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Subway Series, beginning with two games Monday and Tuesday in the Bronx, followed by a pair at Citi Field in Queens.
Since Dave Mlicki’s memorable first game the Mets and Yankees have played 108 regular season games. The Yankees have won 62 and the Mets have won 46 games (the Yankees also won the 2000 World Series, 4-1).
It was August 2001. The Seattle Mariners were flush with confidence. This was their year, finally.
After taking two of three at Yankee Stadium, and six of nine during the regular season, the Mariners packed up and assured the New York clubhouse attendants they would see them again – in October.
Dickie Thon described it this way: “It was like a boom … a dead sound. Like a thud.”
Today, the boxscore reads HBP (hit by pitch) but, for Thon, it was more than that. The Astros All-Star shortstop had been hit by a pitch major league pitches four times prior to April 8, 1984. No. 5 — a fastball by New York Mets pitcher Mike Torrez — fractured Thon’s orbital bone around his left eye, changing his life and career.