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Melvin Mora

Colorado Rockies — No. 6
Third baseman
Born: February 2, 1972 (1972-02-02) (age 38)
Agua Negra, Yaracuý State, Venezuela
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 30, 1999 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
(through 2009)
Batting average     .278
Home runs     164
Runs batted in     693
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Melvin Mora (born February 2, 1972 in Agua Negra, Yaracuý State, Venezuela), affectionately nicknamed Melmo or Melvy, is a Major League Baseball third baseman for the Colorado Rockies.

From his debut in 1999 to 2003, Melvin Mora was known as a utility player, playing all three outfield positions, shortstop, and second base. In 2004, Mora was designated the everyday third baseman, a position he has played regularly ever since.

Contents

Baseball career

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New York Mets

Mora was signed out of Venezuela in 1991. After spending seven years in the Astros minors system and couple of months in CPBL's Mercuries Tigers, he signed as a free agent with the Mets in 1998 and made his major league debut in the 1999 season. With his ability to play all three outfield positions, shortstop, second base and third, Mora was considered a valuable man to have around.

In 1999, he scored the winning run of the final game of the year for the Mets on a wild pitch by the Pirates' Brad Clontz, which propelled the Mets to a one-game playoff with Cincinnati, which they won.

Baltimore Orioles

2000–02

Melvin Mora was traded by the Mets to Baltimore on July 28, 2000 with two minor league players and Mike Kinkade for shortstop Mike Bordick. [1]

Used as a utility player in Baltimore, Mora showed promise and hints of ability to contribute as an every day player but struggled to break through. Things changed when an injury-depleted Orioles team used Mora almost exclusively in left field, and Mora responded with the best stretch of his career. He reached base in 32 straight games while using a 23-game hitting streak to temporarily become the American League batting leader. Finally excelling as a hitter, Mora was chosen for his first All-Star selection. Mora's season was cut short due to injuries (a bruised wrist and a partially torn ligament in his left knee), but finished with a .317 batting average, 15 home runs, and a .418 on-base percentage in 96 games.

2003–04

Mora's 2003 season proved that he could be a consistent hitter at the major league level. In 2004, Mora became the Orioles' regular third baseman and enjoyed his most productive season in the majors. Mora hit a career-high .340, finishing second in the AL batting race to Ichiro Suzuki's .372 mark; led the league hitters in on base percentage (.419); ranked 5th in slugging average (.562) and OPS (.981); 6th in runs (111), doubles (41) and times on base (264); 8th in hits (187), and 9th in total bases (264). His 27 home runs and 104 RBI were also career-highs, while leading his team in batting average, runs, on base percentage, slugging average and OPS. At third base, he improved and became more consistent as the season wore on.

2005–07

In 2005, Mora once again hit 27 home runs, although his batting average and on base percentage dropped. On May 19, 2006 Mora agreed three-year, $25M deal that includes a no-trade clause because Mora does not want to move his family to another city. [2]

In 2006, Mora's home run total dropped to 16, and again dropped in 2007 14. Mora also saw his batting average fall to .274 for both seasons.

2008

Mora was named American League Player of the Month for August 2008. Mora batted .418 (41-for-98) with 8 home runs and had a MLB leading 32 RBIs in 24 games. He posted a .765 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage, with 17 extra-base hits, including eight doubles. Mora had a 13 multi-hit games in August 2008 and maintained an 8-game hitting streak from August 1-10. On August 17 at Detroit, Mora went 5-for-6 with two doubles, 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 6 RBIs during a 16–8 Orioles win. Overall, Mora had five games in August in which he collected four-or-more RBIs. Mora injured his hamstring on August 29, 2008, missing the final games of his impressive month.

2009

On September 18, 2009, Brooks Robinson made a rare appearance at Camden Yards to honor Mora for moving into second all-time in games played at third base by an Oriole (behind only the Hall of Famer Brooks, himself). He presented Melvin with the third base from the game he moved into second.

In 2009 he led all major league starting third basemen in range factor, at 3.14.[3]

Mora's option was declined by the Orioles on October 29, 2009.

Colorado Rockies 2010

On February 5, 2010, the Colorado Rockies signed Mora to a one-year, $1.275 million contract.[4][5]

World Baseball Classic

Melvin Mora agreed to represent his native country, Venezuela, in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, joining fellow Venezuelan major Leaguers Bobby Abreu, Edgardo Alfonzo, Miguel Cairo, Omar Vizquel, Carlos Guillén, Johan Santana, Freddy García, Carlos Silva, Carlos Zambrano, Victor Zambrano, Juan Rivera, and Francisco Rodríguez. He later pulled out after being denied the third-base position in favor of Miguel Cabrera.

Highlights

  • Twice All-Star (2003, 2005)
  • Twice American League Player of the Month (May 2004, August 2008)
  • First player to hit a home run off the top of the foul pole at Camden Yards

Personal life

When he was seven years old, his father was murdered in front of him, when they went to buy some candy at the store in Venezuela by men who mistook him for somebody else.[citation needed]

On July 28, 2001, Mora's wife Gisel gave birth to quintuplets at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. The babies, three girls and two boys, were named Genesis Raquel, Jada Priscilla, Rebekah Alesha, Christian Emmanuel, and Matthew David. They also had an older daughter Tatiana before the quintuplets were born.[6] The family resides in Bel Air, Maryland.[7]

In the Orioles media guide, Mora stated his most embarrassing moment as a player came in his rookie year when, knowing little English, he thought his coach told him to go to left field—he was actually being told to go to second base.

References

External links

Preceded by
Carlos Beltrán
Miguel Cabrera
American League Player of the Month
May 2004
August 2008
Succeeded by
Iván Rodríguez
Shin-Soo Choo

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