Cora to throw out first pitch on Opening Day

Former second baseman key to Mariners' first postseason run in 1995

Cora to throw out first pitch on Opening Day

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Former Mariners fan favorite Joey Cora will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day, the club announced Wednesday.

Cora played second base for Seattle from 1995-98 and was an integral part of the first Mariners team to make the playoffs in 1995. His emotional scene on the bench after the Mariners were knocked out of the '95 postseason by the Indians in the American League Championship Series remains a vivid memory for Seattle fans.

The Mariners host the Angels on Opening Day on Monday, April 6, at Safeco Field. First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. PT, and Cora will be part of the pregame ceremony that begins at 12:30.

Cora's 11-year Major League career concluded in 1998. He later worked as Ozzie Guillen's third-base coach and bench coach with the White Sox and Marlins from 2004-12, and he was one of the finalists for the Mariners' managerial job when Lloyd McClendon was hired in 2014.

Cora, 49, hit .297 with 18 stolen bases in 120 games during the Mariners' breakthrough 1995 season, and earned his only All-Star berth in 1997, when he batted .300 with 11 home runs, 54 RBIs and 105 runs scored in 149 games.

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound Puerto Rico native had a career batting average of .277 while playing for the Padres, White Sox, Mariners and Indians from 1987-98.

Opening Day is virtually sold out at Safeco, with only scattered single tickets remaining. However, fans can still get Opening Day tickets with the purchase of season tickets, including full-season, 20-Game Plans and 10-Game Flex Packs.

There is also still time to register for a special drawing for the chance to buy up to four tickets in the King's Court on Opening Day. Prices in the special section are $55 each and include a King's Court T-shirt and K cloth. Register at until 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Winners will be notified by email by Monday.

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.