(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Los Angeles Dodgers have recently named former pitching great and World Series Champion, 3 x All-Star, and now a current Dodgers Broadcaster, Orel Hershiser and former All-Star outfielder, all-time great pinch-hitter, and long-time 1st base coach, Manny Mota, to their “Legends of Dodger Baseball.” We encourage you to read the great press announcement about the pair’s contribution to Dodgers baseball and a long list of accomplishments by each new Legend.
OREL HERSHISER AND MANNY MOTA NAMED ‘LEGENDS OF DODGER BASEBALL’ PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA
The duo will become the 6th and 7th Dodgers inducted as Legends
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers recently announced that Orel Hershiser and Manny Mota will be the next two Dodger greats inducted into the Legends of Dodger Baseball, presented by Bank of America, and will have their careers celebrated during the 2023 season.
Legends of Dodger Baseball is a recognition of Dodger greats and their impact on the franchise, both on and off the field. Inductees receive a plaque honoring their Dodger achievements, which will also be on permanent display at Dodger Stadium.
“Orel Hershiser and Manny Mota truly define the spirit, dedication and excellence that we strive for at the Dodgers,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “Both have been fixtures at Dodger Stadium and in the Los Angeles community for multiple generations of Dodger fans and we can’t wait to honor their storied careers this season.”
Mota will be honored during pregame ceremonies prior to the 6:10 p.m. game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals on April 29. Hershiser will be celebrated prior to the 6:10 p.m. contest vs. the Cincinnati Reds on July 29.
Steve Garvey, Don Newcombe and Fernando Valenzuela made up the inaugural Legends of Dodger Baseball class in 2019. Maury Wills and Kirk Gibson were inducted during the 2022 season.
Hershiser played 13 of his 18 seasons with the Dodgers and the three-time All-Star right-hander was the driving force behind the 1988 World Series Championship. That season, Hershiser led the National League in wins (23), innings pitched (267), shutouts (8) and complete games (15) en route to a Cy Young Award and set the all-time Major League record of 59 consecutive scoreless innings (Aug. 30-Sept. 28). He secured his place in Dodger lore with a dominant 1988 Postseason, where he earned both NLCS and World Series MVP honors and became the only player in history to win those honors in addition to the Cy Young Award in the same season. He later received both The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year and Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year awards for his brilliant season.
“I am humbled to be inducted into the Legends of Dodger Baseball with my wonderful friend, coach and mentor Manny Mota,” said Hershiser. “This is the part of life that you never imagined. To think I was drafted in the 17th round in 1979 and here now I am still representing this great organization. The Dodgers have been one of the most important parts of my life. I love my teammates, I love this organization and I love you fans. The experiences that I’ve had in uniform on and off the field have taken my life to places I never thought I could go. Thank you so much for this recognition and God bless all of you.”
Hershiser played baseball at Bowling Green (OH) State University and was drafted in the 17th round by the Dodgers in the 1979 Major League First-Year Player Draft. It was during a game in his rookie year of 1984, that Hershiser was nicknamed “Bulldog,” in an effort by Dodgers Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda to get Hershiser to adopt a tougher attitude on the mound. It worked, as Hershiser had his first stellar campaign in 1985, going 19-3 with a 2.03 ERA while helping lead the club to an NL-West crown.
Since his retirement in 2000, he was held titles of Special Assistant to the GM and pitching coach with the Texas Rangers while forging a terrific broadcasting career, including the last nine with the Dodgers. Hershiser returned to Los Angeles in 2014 and has been instrumental in the award-winning Dodger broadcast on SNLA.
Mota has been a member of the Dodger organization for more than 50 years as a player, coach and broadcaster and was the longest-tenured coach in Dodger history (1980-2018). He played 20 Major League seasons with San Francisco (1962), Pittsburgh (1963-68), Montreal (1969) and the Dodgers (1969-80, ’82), batting .304 and retiring as baseball’s all-time pinch-hit leader with 150. Mota was an All-Star for the Dodgers in 1973 and after retiring as a player in 1980, he joined the Dodgers’ coaching staff as the club’s first base coach and batting instructor but was re-activated on Aug. 29 of that year when Reggie Smith went on the disabled list. He was also activated from the coaching staff for one game in 1982, his 816th contest as a Dodger, which rank as the fourth most among all Los Angeles players born in the Dominican Republic.
“This is a great honor and a great privilege, and I’m very grateful to the Dodgers for selecting me as a Legend of Dodger Baseball,” said Mota. “I don’t consider myself a legend, just another person who always tried to contribute to the Dodgers and give my best. I am humbled and really appreciate what the Dodgers are doing for me. I consider Dodger Stadium my home away from home, and I consider myself to be an adopted son of the Dodger organization.”
He has participated in five World Series with the Dodgers as a player or coach, was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum in 2003 and has also been awarded the Deportista Meritorio in the Dominican Republic, a lifetime achievement award honoring his baseball career and citizenship. In 2022, he was inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame. Mota and his wife, Margarita, operate a youth baseball league during the offseason and the Manny Mota International Foundation, a non-profit organization which has raised money to build a medical clinic, baseball fields and a school in the Dominican Republic.