Sunday, September 22, 2013
My Manny Mota Bat Story Reaches an End
“Hey I know that bat, let me see it,” said Manny Mota as we approached him at the Frank and Son event yesterday in City of Industry. My wife was carrying it while I fumbled for some pages of a written hard copy of a blog piece that I wrote three years back. I wanted to give it to one of my favorite Dodgers, who I never had the opportunity to speak to before.
Manny Mota and his 0143 model Lousiville Slugger with the cone handled knob has a lot of history with my family. First chronicled in THIS link from 2010 and later here in THIS link from April of this year on this blog. I purchased the stick on eBay. It was advertised as a game used Manny Mota bat. Manny was able to personally confirm it was authentic too.
It took me 36 years to replace that original broken bat and present it to my brother. When I told him that Manny would be signing items a mere 15 miles from his home, he was disappointed as a work commitment wouldn’t allow him to attend, but I would be traveling down to the southland from my Bay Area home that day, so I agreed to take it to Manny for signature. I’m glad I did.
I tried to briefly explain the significance that bat had to my brother and I, but distractions at such an event didn't allow me to adequately explain things. i gave him that copy of article #1, (Seen on the table below us in the above photograph). “Yo lo voy a leer, (I will read it)” he said as our conversation was all in Spanish. I was able to introduce him to my wife and two of my grandchilden, he shook their hand and addressed them by name. We took photos and he made sure that they came out right too. All class. It was a great moment, and it isn’t as if I’ve not met with players before at events. This one was special.
Earlier the day before, as we drove down from San Francisco, the grandkids were watching movie after movie on the DVR. One of the 7 or 8 flicks watched was the 1979 comedy classic, Airplane with that line oh so familiar to Dodger fans...”Now batting for Pedro Borbon...Manny Mota.” I know they didn't get it, and there was no point of even explaining it to them as the line in the movie wouldn't even be remembered.
I was thinking about that movie and that line from it on the 6 hour drive back home. I just chuckled under my breath as we were driving back. Not that they didn't get the joke and the irony of meeting the man. Not that. It was of the ridiculousness that anyone would believe that Manny Mota would ever pinch hit for Borbon. Are you kidding me? Bat against him? Yes, but never for him. The Zucker brothers really messed that one up.