Melvin Mora Announces Retirement
Former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora announced his retirement from Major League Baseball today. Many of you know that Melvin Mora gave the Orioles some very productive seasons (particularly from 2002 to 2006), but not many people know the whole story of Melvin Mora and why he’ll always be one of my favorite Orioles ever.
The Orioles received Mora from the New York Mets in 2000 as part of a trade that sent Mike Bordick to the Mets. I remember hating the deal at first because Mike Bordick was at the time, one of my favorite Orioles. It didn’t help that Mora struggled at shortstop. However, Mora quickly won me over after he stopped to sign for me and took the time to talk to me (albeit in poor English). From that day, Mora was one of my favorite Orioles. Mora continued to struggle until July 28, 2001. That was the night that his wife had quintuplets. The birth of those quintuplets had a positive effect on Mora. He finished the 2001 season very strong. In 2002, he had a rough year. Then something changed in him.
In 2003, he became an All-Star for the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of an Oriole being an All-Star than I was for Mora. He had arguably his finest season in 2004 when he hit 27 homers and had a .340 batting average. He reached his second (and last) all-star game in 2005. He hit 27 homers again in 2005.
After 2006, Mora started to struggle. There were things about Mora that were always consistent: His love for his family, his passion for baseball, and his captivating smile. Those are the three things that I will always remember about Mora. Mora wasn’t just a very good baseball player, he was an incredible person. The fans loved him, and in return, he loved them back.
In honor of Melvin Mora… his at bat music. I spent many summer nights salsa dancing to this in the center field bleachers.