pinch hitter extraordinaire manny mota signed and returned this 1978 topps card in just 10 days! manny is in his 30th year as a dodger coach - he's nearing don zimmer and nick altrock territory as a baseball lifer. best known (to me, anyway) for his pinch hitting prowess, manny had some very solid seasons for the pirates and dodgers early in his career. he hit .332 in 116 games in 1966, and then .321 in 120 games in 1967. after the 1968 season, he was selected by the expansion montreal expos in the expansion draft. he was traded to the dodgers (along with maury wills) in the middle of the 1969 season.
an all star in 1973, manny went on to set the all time record for pinch hits in 1979 and retired from playing to become a coach. late in the 1980 season, however, the dodgers re-activated him, and he made 7 pinch hit appearances, adding 3 hits to his record for a career total of 148 pinch hits (since surpassed by lenny harris). mota was activated again towards the end of the 1982 season, and he made his only appearance, the final of his career, in the bottom of the 13th inning on september 1st against the cardinals. down 6-5 with steve garvey on second, mota pinch hit for mike scioscia against jim kaat. he grounded out, but at least he moved the runner over! unfortunately, dave sax would line out to end the game, and the dodgers would finish one game behind the braves. it wasn't manny's fault, though - this was the year they lost 8 straight towards the end of september, and had their season ended by joe morgan.
anyway, manny mota is one of the most beloved dodgers, and i am very happy to have this card in my collection. it's also the 5th piece in my modest 1978 topps dodgers autograph project.
here's the tally:
ron cey - through the mail success!
manny mota - through the mail success!
johnny oates - ebay success!
doug rau - through the mail success!
lance rautzhan - through the mail success!
nlcs (davey lopes)
5/29 = 17%