Alex Cora says his mom’s favorite player was Derek Jeter, not him

Red Sox

Alex Cora and his brother enjoyed long MLB careers, but the Red Sox manager’s mom was a fan of someone else.

Alex Cora wasn’t his mom’s favorite player during his playing days. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Alex Cora learned the hard way that just because you made it to the majors doesn’t mean you’ll automatically become your mom’s favorite baseball player.

The Red Sox manager and longtime MLB player shared that neither he nor his fellow baseball-playing brother, Joey, are his mom Iris’s favorite player. Instead, she’s a fan of one of the former stars from the Red Sox’ top rival.

“When I was playing, her favorite player was Derek Jeter,” Cora told reporters on Mother’s Day, via MassLive’s Christopher Smith.

Cora, who was a middle infielder for the Red Sox from 2005-08, is able to laugh about it nearly two decades after his playing career ended.

“We’re just the kids, you know,” Cora said. “Like I always said, Joey is my brother, Roberto Alomar is my favorite player. Jeter. Jeter. Yeah, she loved him. She loved the way he played obviously. I mean, it’s Derek Jeter, right? The captain.”

Cora didn’t explain how Jeter became his mom’s favorite player. But Jeter apparently knows about Cora’s mom’s appreciation for him, sending her a video message for her 80th birthday in 2019.

“What a class act,” Cora said of Jeter in an interview with WEEI in 2021. “This guy’s amazing. The way he did it and everything he did for the Yankee organization and for baseball was amazing.”

Still, Cora’s mom seems to be a pretty big fan of his. He said Sunday that she watches every game, sending him text messages following each Red Sox game. The mother and son also FaceTime each other to talk about each game, too.

“Yeah, she’s into it,” Cora said. “She has her favorite players and it’s fun. The interaction after games is really fun. The fact that she stays up — and she has to follow two teams. She’s following the Tigers and us.”

Joey Cora is currently the Tigers’ third base coach.

As for her thoughts on the Red Sox, Cora said his mother is “starting to like” second baseman Vaughn Grissom, who plays second base, just like her son.

As the Red Sox changed the nameplates of players to their mother’s names on Sunday, Cora has given his mother major love in the past on Mother’s Day. On Mother’s Day in 2021, he shared how thankful he was for her growing up as his father, Jose Manuel, passed away from colon cancer just days before his 13th birthday.

“She’s been everything for us,” Cora told reporters at the time. “She’s the one that runs the family. She’s our manager. Let’s put it that way. What she’s done, what she’s gone through the last 18 months, it hasn’t been easy. But she’s just mom. She’s there. She will always be there for us. I’m very biased about that. She’s the best in the world.”

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