Friday, November 9, 2012
no. 112 - manny mota
Who is the man: Manny Mota, believe it or not, was the Dodgers' regular left fielder in 1971. I always have a difficult time with that because I've only known Mota as Pinch-Hitter Extraordinaire.
Can ya dig it: This is the first 1971 card I ever saw. It was lying in a street gutter as I walked home from school. It was in pieces. I picked them up, taped them together, and kept the card for a long time, even though one piece in the middle of the card was missing. It had to be a good five years after the 1971 set came out that I saw the card.
Right on: The "G." in Mota's signature is the abbreviation for "Geronimo," which was Mota's mother's surname.
You see this cat Mota is a bad mother: Mota cemented himself forever in pop culture by making it into the script of the movie "Airplane." The often-cited "pinch-hitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota ... Mota ... Mota ..." line will last long after Mota's gone. That's bad-ass.
Shut your mouth: Former Los Angeles Times writer Jim Murray, describing Mota's ability to come up in any situation and get a hit, said: "He could get wood on a bullet."
No one understand him but his woman: In 1970, Mota hit a foul ball that hit a 14-year-old boy in the head. The boy died five days later. In one account in the L.A. Daily News, it mentioned that such a tragedy has never happened again. But the link to the story doesn't appear to be functioning anymore.
(A word about the back): Considering how regularly that Mota hit above .300 during this time, it surprises me that the Dodgers ever took him out of the outfield. But I suppose if you acquire Jimmy Wynn and then Dusty Baker and Reggie Smith, you have no choice.