The Los Angeles Dodgers honored coach Manny Mota Saturday both at their 15th annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration La Gran Fiesta -- Viva Los Dodgers and their game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Mota, who is in his 33rd season as a coach with the Dodgers and 44th with the team, threw a ceremonial first pitch marking a career in Major League Baseball that began in 1962 as an outfielder with the San Francisco Giants.
Mota was interviewed by comedian George Lopez and signed autographs at La Gran Fiesta -- Viva Los Dodgers in the stadium's Parking Lot 6.
Mota's 33 consecutive years as a coach with the same team is the second longest streak in major league history, behind Nick Altrock, who coached for the Washington Senators from 1912-53. Mota is in his 14th season assisting and communicating with the Dodgers' Latin American players and coordinating all aspects of opponent charting.
Mota began his Dodger coaching career in 1980 as the first base coach and batting instructor.
Mota joined the Dodgers as a player on June 11, 1969 in a trade with Montreal Expos that also brought Maury Wills back to the team that had traded him following the 1966 season. His career batting average of .315 is the 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 was born Feb. 18, 1938 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He signed with the New York Giants in 1957 and made his major league debut on April 16, 1962 in a 19-8 victory over the Dodgers at Candlestick Park.
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.
The Montreal Expos made Mota their first choice, and second overall, in the 1968 National League expansion draft.
Mota has a connection to the classic 1980 movie comedy "Airplane!" when passenger-turned-pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) hears voices in his head saying the historically incorrect, "Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota."