Julio Urías and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were named the recipients of the Golden Latino Award from the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame for their respective performances during the 2021 season. The organization additionally recognized beloved Los Angeles Dodgers figure Manny Mota.
The awards ceremony and announcing that Mota will be inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame was made by Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Latino (SFBL) during a press conference prior to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.
The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame was established in La Romana, Dominican Republic in 2010. It focuses on honoring the contributions of Latin American players through three groups: Latin American players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Veterans, and Contemporaries (since 1959).
The Latino Baseball Hall of Fame additionally gives out a “Tommy Lasorda Award” to a non-Latin personality who promotes the development of baseball in Latin America. The first award was given to former Dodgers Peter O’Malley in 2010.
After a two-year pause due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the SFBL’s ninth Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled to take place in November in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Mota and five others will make up the class of 2022.
“Manny Mota is one of the great pillars of Latino baseball in the Major Leagues and we are happy to announce that he will be one of the honorees at the return of the activities of the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame,” SFBL representative Robinson Paredes said in Spanish.
“It is a privilege to have been selected by the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Mota, who began to tear up while expressing his gratitude.
“I feel very proud of my country and at the same time very grateful to the United States, which opened its doors to us. I feel like an adopted son of Los Angeles.”
Manny Mota’s career with dodgers
Mota spent 20 years in the Majors, playing for the San Francisco Giants (1962), Pittsburgh Pirates (1963-68), Montreal Expos (1969) and Dodgers (1969-80, 82). He became the first player selected in the 1968 MLB expansion draft but was traded to the Dodgers after appearing in just 31 games for the Expos.
Mota went on to become MLB’s all-time pinch-hit leader with 150, though his mark has since been broken by Lenny Harris (212) and Mark Sweeney (175).
Mota was an All-Star in 1973 and hit .315/.374/.391 with 66 doubles, 22 triples, 12 home runs and 226 RBI in 816 games over 13 seasons with the Dodgers. Included in that was batting .319 as a pinch-hitter during his career with Los Angeles.
He retired in 1980 but returned in September of that year to play in seven games. Mota then was back in the Majors during the 1982 season, but at 42 years old, only appeared in one game.
Since retiring, Mota has assisted the Dodgers in various roles, including connecting with Latin American players and maintaining a regular presence in the clubhouse.
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