For the second time in four days, Red Sox manager Alex Cora found himself in the center of a parade.This time, Cora was back in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Cora was joined by several Red Sox coaches, players, owners and front-office members who helped make this joyous day
For the second time in four days, Red Sox manager Alex Cora found himself in the center of a parade.
This time, Cora was back in his hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico. Cora was joined by several Red Sox coaches, players, owners and front-office members who helped make this joyous day in his homeland possible.
In the cover of darkness and with steady rain falling, the Red Sox's contingent left Fenway Park early Saturday morning on a bus to Logan Airport. A couple of hours later, they touched down in San Juan.
Cora, decked out in a Red Sox jersey and rolled-up khakis, was first off the plane, and he had his precious carry-on -- the World Series trophy -- in his hands. Catcher Christian Vazquez and coach Ramon Vazquez, both from Puerto Rico, immediately trailed behind the first rookie manager to win the World Series since Arizona's Bob Brenly in 2001.
From there, the group got on a flatbed for the 16-mile ride to Caguas. Upon arrival, it was a true party. Music played loudly. Horns were honking everywhere. As he stood next to his daughter Camila, Cora moved the trophy over his head back and forth to the joy of a packed crowd of baseball enthusiasts.
"It was very emotional," Cora said. "I'm not a guy that shows too much emotion, but I had to take a step back, to tell everybody how much I love them, from my family, and all those fans, and to thank our mayor and the Red Sox, and what it means to me, and to thank the players. That was a cool moment and hopefully we can do it again."
One fan had a straw hat with "Puerto Rico" taped on to it, and his face was painted like a baseball. Cora walked with his baseball cap on backwards and recorded videos of the celebration on his phone. And later, Cora was dancing enthusiastically as a band played next to him.
While the trophy will go on many trips between now and Spring Training, Cora wanted to make sure to bring it back to his homeland first. This marks the Red Sox's second trip to Puerto Rico this year. Cora led a relief effort in January to deliver nearly 10 tons of supplies to the island, which is still recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Caguas mayor William Miranda Torres was on hand for Saturday's festivities.
Others who joined for the day trip included Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, president and CEO Sam Kennedy, assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett, first-base coach Tom Goodwin, infielder/outfielder Brock Holt, catcher Sandy Leon and pitchers David Price and Eduardo Rodriguez.
"It's very special," Christian Vazquez said. "It's an honor to be here with Alex and the team, and it means a lot for us."
The trip to Puerto Rico was on the one-week anniversary of the club's biggest win in the 2018 World Series, when the Red Sox came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Dodgers, 9-6, in Game 4. The Sox won the World Series the next day, and celebrated with a duck-boat parade in Boston on Wednesday.
"Happy to be home, happy to be in Puerto Rico, my home, my island, and I just want to thank everyone who got here today," Ramon Vazquez said. "Let's go, Red Sox."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.