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Margarita Mota, the wife of Dodgers great Manny Mota and matriarch of a baseball family, dies at 81

A framed photo of Margarita and Manny Mota along with a bouquet of white roses sits in the Dodger Stadium press box on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Los Angeles. Margarita Mota, the wife of retired Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Mota and matriarch of a baseball family, died Saturday, according to her son José Mota. (AP Photo/Beth Harris)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Margarita Mota, the wife of Los Angeles Dodgers great Manny Mota and matriarch of a baseball family, died Saturday. She was 81.

She had been in ill health in recent years and died of natural causes at home in the Los Angeles suburb of La Crescenta, according to her son, José, a former major leaguer who works on the team's Spanish language broadcasts.

Manny Mota, who is 85, is major league baseball’s No. 3 career pinch-hitter who won World Series titles with the Dodgers in 1981 and ’88. The Dominican outfielder played parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982 with the Dodgers. He served as a coach for the team from 1980-2013 and continued working for the club as a Spanish-language TV broadcaster until 2020.

The couple was married for 60 years. They created the Manny Mota International Foundation, a nonprofit that has raised money to build a medical clinic, baseball fields and a school in the Dominican Republic.

“I applaud her,” José Mota said. “A woman of the people. She loved the needy and taught us to take care of them.”

Besides José, Margarita is survived by seven other children: Cecilia, María, Rafael, Andy, Domingo, Gary and Tony, as well as 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Andy also played in the major leagues, while Domingo, Gary and Tony played in the minors. Tony also coached for the Dodgers.

José Mota recalled his mother shepherding her eight children back and forth from the Dominican to Los Angeles to be with their father during his playing days.

“A strong woman,” he said. “A wonderful woman.”

Margarita Mota was known for cooking meals for Dodgers players participating in the Dominican Winter League.

“She made sure the American families went to our house for the holidays,” José Mota said.

The Dodgers set a framed photo of the smiling couple, with Margarita's arms around her husband, and a bouquet of white roses in the stadium press box. There was a moment of silence before the team's game against the San Francisco Giants.



Beth Harris, The Associated Press

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