• Former L.A. Dodger Inducted Into Prestigious Shrine in Pasadena

    PASADENA (CNS) – Former Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitting star and longtime coach Manny Mota will be among three men inducted into the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals in a ceremony at the Pasadena Central Library today.

    Joining Mota in the 15th class of electees are the late softball pitcher Eddie Feigner and the late Lefty O’Doul, a two-time National League batting champion and one of  San Francisco’s greatest sports legends.

    Mota topped the field of 50 candidates for election to the Shrine of the Eternals as he was named on 37 percent of the ballots. O’Doul was second with 35 percent and Feigner third with 33.3 percent.

    The three candidates receiving the most votes are elected to the Shrine of the Eternals, which differs from the Hall of Fame in that statistical accomplishment is not the principal criterion for election.

    Its criteria are distinctiveness of play (good or bad); the uniqueness of character and personality and the imprint the individual has made on the baseball landscape, according to the organization’s website.

    Electees, both on and off the field, shall have been responsible for developing baseball through athletic and or business achievements; in terms of its larger cultural and sociological impact as mass entertainment; and as an arena for the human imagination.

    Also to be honored today are Emma Amaya, who will receive the Hilda Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the game by a baseball fan, and Steve Bandura, who will receive the Tony Salin Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals for their commitment to the preservation of baseball history.

    Mota is scheduled to attend the 2 p.m. ceremony and will be introduced by his son, Jose Mota, an announcer with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

    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 set a major league record with 150 pinch hits, a mark broken in 2001 by Lenny Harris.

    Mota began his Dodger coaching career in 1980 as the first base coach and batting instructor and remained a coach through last season. His 33 consecutive years as a coach with a team in the second-longest streak in major league history, behind Nick Altrock, who coached for the Washington Senators from 1912-53.

    The 75-year-old Mota is now an analyst on the Dodgers’ Spanish-language telecasts, a minor league hitting instructor and makes community appearances on behalf of the team.

    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. 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.

    The Induction Day ceremony is open to the public and free of charge. Organizers encourage attendees to arrive by 1:30 p.m. when the library’s auditorium opens. Once seating capacity has been reached, people will be turned away.

    The Monrovia-based Baseball Reliquary, founded in 1996, bills itself as a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and exploring the sport’s unparalleled creative possibilities.

    More information about the Induction Day ceremony and the Baseball Reliquary is available by contacting Terry Cannon at (626) 791-7647 or by email at terymar@earthlink.net.

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