- 2B, 3B, CF, LF, OF, RF, SS, DH, 1B
- March 2, 1972
- 5' 11"
- 200 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 5-30-1999 with NYN
- Allstar Selections:
- 2004 SS
At the age of six, Melvin Mora's father died in his arms after being shot in a case of mistaken identity in Venezuela. Later, his brother was killed in his native country by a hit man. Despite these tragedies, and his impoverished upbringing, Mora finally made it to the major leagues at the age of 27, after several seasons in the minors. Traded by the Mets to the Orioles in his second season, Mora became a valuable player for Baltimore, filling in at several positions, and hitting over .300 twice through 2006. The muscular little right-handed hitter hit as many as 27 homers in a season twice and batted .340 in 2004. With his brand of aggressive play and hustle, Mora has become a popular player in Baltimore, all the much more after helping his team by switching to third base in 2004.
"When you have a manager like that, talking about his players, saying they don’t know how to win, that you don’t find a way to win, I don’t like that. He tries to point his finger at players. We want to win more than he does. When people say I just try to hit home runs, they don’t know what [is in my mind when I am] hitting. I don’t pay attention when people talk like that. It makes me sick." — Melvin Mora, responding to criticism from Orioles manager Mike Hargrove that he tries to hit home runs too often. "We both come from poor towns. And because you come from a poor town, and you know what you’ve been through, you know what you're coming from, you know what your family did for you — to send you to school, to pay for you to go to school, even though they didn’t have all the money like a rich family — that’s why we like to help people. And I’m always happy." — Melvin Mora, on he and friend Miguel Tejada's tight friendship "Cal told me it would take me 100 games to get used to third base. I said I didn’t want to take 100 games." — Melvin Mora, on becoming a third baseman in 2004
Mora led the American League in batting for much of the first two months of the season, but cooled in June and July. In August he heated up again, batting .378 to propel himself to a career-best .340 average. He also swatted 27 homers (eight coming in August when he drove in 31 runs) and made the All-Star team.
In 2001, Melvin Mora and his wife Gisel, welcomed five children - quintuplets. Statistically, quintuplets occur once in every 470 million births.
March 30, 1991: Signed by the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent. October 17, 1997: Granted Free Agency. Any team in baseball could have snatched up Melvin Mora after he spent six seasons in the Astros farm system. The Mets signed him, but gave up on him pretty quickly after he finally got to the big leagues. In 2000, seeking an offensive upgrade at shortstop, the Mets packed Mora in a deal to acquire Bordick. The Mets went on to win the pennant, but Bordick wasn't that effective. In the long run, it was a bad deal for the Mets. In the short run, Bordick filled in at short for a few months, but was lost via free agency in the off-season (going back to Baltimore). July 24, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets. October 16, 1998: Granted Free Agency. February 5, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets. July 28, 2000: Traded by the New York Mets with Pat Gorman (minors), Lesli Brea, and Mike Kinkade to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Bordick.
Overcoming adversity and hitting the fastball.
Mora is not a terrible defensive player, but he's not great at any one spot. He has worked hard to become better at third base, but he still boots a few too many grounders.