|Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 11|
February 18, 1938 |
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 16, 1962 for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 1, 1982 for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||438|
|Career highlights and awards|
Manuel Rafael Mota Geronimo, more commonly known as Manny Mota (born on February 18, 1938) is a Dominican former Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos, as well as being a pinch hitting specialist with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He has been a coach for the Dodgers since 1980, making the 2013 season the 34th consecutive year in which Mota has coached for the team. He is thus the longest-tenured coach in Dodger history, and his 34 consecutive years as a coach with the same team is the second-longest such streak in MLB annals to Nick Altrock, who spent 42 straight seasons listed as a coach for the old Washington Senators. Mota is expected to return for his 35th straight year in 2014.
At the age of 19, Mota demonstrated his hitting abilities when he first played in the minor leagues with the Giants, then based in New York. At the end of his rookie 1962 season, the Giants traded him to the Houston Colt .45's for infielder Joey Amalfitano (who later was Mota's 16-year colleague as a Dodgers coach). But before he ever appeared in an official game with Houston, he was dealt to the Pirates for OF Howie Goss and cash on April 4, 1963, and he quickly established himself as one of the league's premiere hitters. In the following years with the Pirates, Mota had over a .300 hitting average.
In 1969, Mota was the first player selected in the National League expansion draft by the Montreal Expos. Later that same year, Mota returned to the West Coast via a trade with the Dodgers. Once in L.A., Mota became the number one pinch hitter there and hit over .300 during the next five seasons.
On May 16, 1970, Mota hit the only batted ball in major league history to cause a fatality. In the bottom of the third against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, Mota fouled one off of Gaylord Perry along the first base line. The ball struck 14-year-old Alan Fish in the left temple. Four days later, Fish died of an inoperable head injury.
In 1973, Mota was selected to the National League All-Star team after leading the league in batting average. From 1974 through 1979, Mota was continuously called upon for late inning heroics, where he averaged 10 pinch hits for 6 straight seasons. The Dodgers appeared in the 1974, 1977, and 1978 World Series. In 1979, Mota established his place in the record books by becoming the all-time leader in Pinch Hits. He had a compact swing and often half-swung just to push the ball beyond the reach of the first baseman for a hit.
In 1981, Manny appeared in his fourth World Series, this time mostly as a coach but only to be activated later in the year for the stretch drive. Mota retired as a player from the Dodgers the following year. Mota left a career holding the all-time major league record for career pinch-hits (150), which has since been broken by Mark Sweeney and Lenny Harris, and an overall lifetime batting average of .304 and a .297 pinch-hitting average. His .315 batting average is second best (1,800 or more at bats) in Los Angeles Dodgers history, trailing only Mike Piazza.
Mota served as a player-coach for the Dodgers during his final seasons as a player, and remained as a coach after retiring as a player. Mota again participated in a World Series as a coach for the Dodgers in 1988, making this a total of five World Series appearances.
More than 40 years after joining the Dodgers, Mota remains an active part of both the coaching staff and his community. In the off-season, Mota and his wife Margarita reside in the Dominican Republic, where they run the Manny Mota International Foundation. Established over 30 years ago, this humanitarian organization provides needed resources and other assistance to disadvantaged youth and their families in both the Dominican Republic and the United States.
Mota worked as a color commentator on the Fox Sports en Espanol television broadcast of the 2007 World Series.
As one of the all-time great pinch hitters and a Los Angeles staple in the 1970s, Mota was referenced in a joke in the movie Airplane! As we hear Ted Striker's inner-dialogue echo in his mind, it resembles a stadium public address and we hear him think "Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbón... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota..." Curiously, Mota and Borbon never actually played on the same team.
Two of Mota's sons, Andy and José, also played in the Major Leagues. Manny's youngest son, Tony, played extensively through the Minor Leagues and has also coached for the Dodgers organization. Manny, and his wife, Margarita, recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Mota's nephew, Santiago Taveras, is an educator and former deputy chancellor in New York City, and is the current principal of DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx.
- Los Angeles Dodgers official website
- Hoffarth, Tom. "40 years ago today: A death at Dodger Stadium, and still the only one of its kind at an MLB game". Retrieved 2012-04-06.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach