LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Manny Mota has been inducted into the Legends of Dodger Baseball, honored for his uninterrupted service to the team since 1969 as a player, coach, broadcaster, and ambassador.
The 18-minute ceremony Saturday included remarks by Mota and retired Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrín and the presentation of a bicycle to Mota by retired Dodger third baseman Adrián Beltré in recognition of Mota frequently riding a bicycle around Dodgertown, the Dodgers’ former spring facility in Vero Beach, Florida.
The ceremony at Dodger Stadium was hosted by Manny’s son Jose Mota, a Dodger broadcaster and was attended by former Dodgers Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser, former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley and Alfonso Rodríguez Zorrilla, the consul general of the Dominican Republic on the West Coast of the United States.
“I love you all, and thank you for your great support,” Mota said in his induction speech. “I’m proud to be Dominican, I’m proud to be Latino and grateful to be part of this great nation.”
Mota threw the ceremonial first pitch and members of his family said, “It’s time for Dodger baseball” just before the first pitch of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mota was acquired by the Dodgers in a June 11, 1969 trade with the Montreal Expos that also brought Maury Wills back to the team, which traded him following the 1966 season. Mota’s .315 career batting average is the sixth-highest in franchise history and second-highest in Los Angeles Dodger history among players with at least 1,800 at bats.
Mota began his Dodger coaching career in 1980 as the first base coach and batting instructor and remained a coach through 2013. His 34 consecutive years as a coach with a team is the second-longest streak in major league history, behind Nick Altrock, who coached for the Washington Senators from 1912- 53.
Mota was a Dodger broadcaster from 2010-17. He has been a member of the team’s Alumni Group since 2018, appearing on behalf of the Dodgers at team and public events.
Mota set a major league record with 150 pinch hits, a mark broken in 2001 by Lenny Harris.
Mota signed with the New York Giants in 1957 and made his major league debut on April 16, 1962, in the San Francisco Giants’ 19-8 victory over the Dodgers, entering the game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement for left fielder Harvey Kuenn.
Mota faced Ron Perranoski in his first major league at-bat, flying out to center fielder Ron Fairly. Mota and Perranoski were on the Dodger coaching staff together from 1981-94. Fairly was among the two players the Dodgers traded to Montreal in 1969 to acquire Mota.
The Giants traded Mota to the Houston Colt .45s following the 1962 season, who dealt him to the Pittsburgh Pirates four days before the start of the 1963 season.
Mota remained with the Pirates through the 1968 season. Montreal made Mota its first choice, and second overall, in the 1968 National League expansion draft.
Mota’s other honors include induction into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum in 2003, the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals in 2013 and the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022. Mota has also been awarded the Deportista Meritorio in his native Dominican Republic, a lifetime achievement award honoring his baseball career and citizenship.
Mota and his wife, Margarita, operate a youth baseball league during the offseason and the Manny Mota International Foundation, a nonprofit organization, which has raised money to build a medical clinic, baseball fields and a school in the Dominican Republic.
The Legends of Dodger Baseball was established in 2018 to recognize Dodger greats and their impact on the franchise, both on and off the field. Inductees receive a plaque honoring their Dodger achievements, which will be on permanent display at Dodger Stadium.
Mota was the sixth inductee. Don Newcombe, Garvey and Fernando Valenzuela were inducted in 2019. Wills and Kirk Gibson were inducted in 2022. Hershiser will be inducted on July 29.
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