An epic 18-pitch at-bat showed bond between future World Series skippers Alex Cora, Dave Roberts

“The 18th pitch … a high fly ball into right field. Back goes Sosa, way back to the cage, and it’s gone. … Home run, Alex Cora on the 18th pitch, and the Dodgers lead four to nothing. Hah! What a moment! 9:23 on the scoreboard, if you want to write it down for history! … That’s one of the finest at-bats I’ve ever seen, and then to top it off with a home run, that’s really shocking.”

As Scully described the moment, Cora circled the bases. Except for a brief tap to the bill of his helmet and a slight smile, Cora refrained from any histrionics until he crossed the plate. But when he took a hard right to return to the dugout, he saw a line of Dodgers waiting to greet him. At the front of the receiving line was a teammate who gave him an “I am not worthy” salaam and then embraced Cora as if he hadn’t seen his friend in nike nfl jersey

The teammate was Dave Roberts.2

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Roberts says. “The suspense started building with the sixth foul tip, and I was top-stepping it. Alex wasn’t exactly a home run hitter, so we would have settled for a single, but then for the at-bat to culminate in a two-run homer? Wow, that was something.”

After the initial reception, Cora went back into the dugout. But Roberts and the other Dodgers pushed him back onto the field amid the adoration of 43,233 fans. As Scully put it, “Yeah, take your bow, Alex. You deserve it and then some.”

Now, both Cora and Roberts are taking bows on baseball’s biggest stage, in baseball’s most hallowed park, as the managers of two of baseball’s most storied franchises, the Boston Red Sox and the Dodgers. It’s actually the first time in World Series history that the opposing managers will have played for both teams in the Series. It’s also the first time two minority managers will meet in the Fall Classic. And to top it off, the close friends are fondly remembered in both nfl jerseys china nike

Watching with his four kids in Butler, Pennsylvania, is another friend and former teammate of Cora’s who happens to be the varsity basketball coach at Butler Senior High School.