Mota's to be Honored by Scout's Foundation

The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation's seventh annual "In the Spirit of the Game" benefit gala will take place Saturday in Los Angeles and Manny and Margarita Mota will be honored as baseball's family of the year

Five of the Mota's six sons are in baseball, two of them in the major leagues. Jose as a broadcaster with the Angels, Tony is a Dodgers' hitting instructor in the Dominican Summer League and Andy as an agent with the Los Angeles-based firm that represents the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, Nomar Garciaparra and Hideki Matsui.

"For the family it's a great honor, a great privilege," Manny Mota, 71, said by telephone from the Dominican Republic. "We're very thankful and appreciative that the Scouts Foundation would select us to be part of this event. We're very proud."

Manny had a 20-year playing career, made an All-Star team and broke the record for most pinch-hits and has served 30 seasons as a Dodgers coach, the longest tenure of any coach since the team moved to Los Angeles.

Manny and his wife have assisted the poor in his native Dominican Republic, work that continues today through the nonprofit Manny Mota International Foundation, one of the most active charities on the island.

Cecilia, the Motas' oldest daughter, manages the foundation while 13-year-old granddaughter Alina has spent the last seven years on her own mission, collecting as many as 30 boxes of school uniforms for poor children in the Dominican each year.

"All their energy is focused on that from October to spring training," Andy said of his parents. "Feeding people and giving things away and addressing problems. That's what makes them go."

Saturday's gala will be more than just an awards dinner. It's also an excuse for a long-awaited family reunion. "It's going to be the first time we're all together in 19 years," Jose Mota said.

The nonprofit foundation was founded in 2003 by Dennis Gilbert, a former minor league player and scout, to raise money for scouts in need. And Mota said the award is particularly meaningful because he loves scouts.

"If scouts didn't exist, baseball wouldn't exist," said Mota, who still talks fondly of Horacio Martinez, the legendary New York Giants scout who signed him in 1957. "They work very hard and I recognize their efforts. I admire them."

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