This Sunday morning, in advance of the New York Yankees hosting the Boston Red Sox on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, reporter Buster Olney profiles Red Sox manager and Caguas, Puerto Rico-native Alex Cora on E:60 (9 a.m. ET, ESPN).
Olney came to know Alex when he was a baseball analyst for ESPN and ESPN Deportes from 2013-16. But Olney knew another Cora long before meeting Alex.
“Coincidentally, I went to college with Alex’s brother Joey [interviewed in the piece] — we both enrolled at Vanderbilt in the fall of 1982 — so I knew about the remarkable challenges that Joey took on, moving to a place [Nashville, Tenn., from Puerto Rico] he did not know while still learning English and playing college baseball,” Olney said.
“While getting to know Alex at ESPN and working on this piece, I gained a fuller understanding of the courage it took for everybody in the family to help Joey and then Alex be in a better place.”
Olney traveled to the Cora’s Caguas home in December to spend time with Alex and Joey’s mother.
“Their Mom told me how difficult it was to see her sons go away, and part of how she dealt with their absence was to collect articles and memorabilia that fill a room in their home,” Olney said.
That wasn’t Olney’s first visit to Puerto Rico or to the Cora home.
“I had done two other pieces there before, on [Houston Astros shortstop] Carlos Correa, and had interviewed Alex at the Cora home in November of 2017, when most of Puerto Rico still did not have power,” Olney said.