Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora took the 2018 World Series trophy to Puerto Rico on Saturday to celebrate the team’s championship in his hometown of Caguas, an area hit hard by Hurricane Maria.
"It was cool...I knew it was gonna be a special day. It's a different vibe, not to take away from where we play and the celebration up there, that was great. That was very gratifying. But here, it's a different flavor," Cora said of their trip.
Cora said bringing the trophy home means a lot to him and to his family. He was also happy that some of the team's players and staff got to see how proud his hometown is of them.
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When asked about being the first manager from Puerto Rico in the MLB, Cora said he doesn't like to talk about it.
"I never put limits on my job. I always say, if somebody sees you as capable, I was gonna get the job. I know where I'm from, I know what it means, I know all of the history, I know all of that stuff. I just don't like talking about it because, in the end, if you put limits on yourself, you're going to be limited," he said.
Cora was joined on the celebratory trip by a handful of players, including catchers Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez, pitchers David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez, and infielder/outfielder Brock Holt.
“Alex told me about the trip and he knows I’m in,” Vazquez said at the gala Friday night.
“We just want to go to make people happy," Rodriguez added.
A number of Boston team officials also embarked on the trip, including Chairman Tom Werner, President and CEO Sam Kennedy, assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett, first-base coach Tom Goodwin, and advance scouting/statistical analysis coach Ramon Vazquez, as well as members of the Red Sox front office.
“I know how important it is for my hometown to see the trophy, see the guys and have fun,” Cora said Friday night at the 3rd Annual Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Cora’s hometown Mayor William Miranda Torres greeted the plane upon arrival in Puerto Rico and is escorting the Red Sox to Caguas, which is located about 16 miles south of San Juan.
Mayor Torres told NBC10 Boston's sister station Telemundo Boston, “In this moments that we are traveling through rough times in Puerto Rico, the fiscal and economical challenges that we are having, and he [Cora] accomplished this, it’s very significant.”
Saturday’s trip, which is being well documented on social media, was made in partnership with JetBlue. The team's official airline provided a Red Sox-themed plane for the flight to Puerto Rico and said it will make a $1 donation to a charity of Cora’s choosing for every passenger traveling on the Red Sox plane during the month of November.
This mark's the team's second trip to Puerto Rico this year. Cora led a relief effort in January, delivering nearly 10 tons of supplies to aid Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017.