Mota's 'Field of Dreams' Golf Tourney Set in LCF

The La Cañada Flintridge Country Club will be the site of the first Manny Mota International Foundation's "Field of Dreams" Charity Golf Tournament on Aug. 8.

In addition, a sports memorabilia auction and dinner will be held in conjunction with the tournament with the proceeds from both events benefitting the MMIF's humanitarian programs in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.

Tournament registration and the sports memorabilia auction will both begin at 10:30 a.m. The auction will continue with the dinner which will start at 6 p.m. For non-golfers, tennis and swimming will be available at the club.

Sports stars and legends scheduled to play in the tournament will include Christian Okoye, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Don Newcombe, Giovanni Carrara, Maury Wills, Ken Landreaux and Rick Monday.

Others are Jeff Weaver, Tommy Davis, Derek Lowe, Willie Davis, Odalis Perez and Maybelle Blair of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Manny Mota, one of the all-time great pinch hitters in the history of Major League Baseball, has been associated with the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization as a player and coach for more than 35 years.

Mota, who accumulated 150 pinch hits during his career, held the Major League record for 20 years.

Mota and his family lived in La Crescenta from 1979 to 1998. His two youngest sons, Tony, a professional baseball player for a Dallas independent league, and Rafael, a real estate agent, attended St. Francis High in La Cañada Flintridge. Mota's grandson, Christian, also goes to school LCF.

Starting with few resources 38 years ago, Mota, his wife Margarita and their family created the MMIF for disadvantaged youths and their families. Today, Mota's daughter Cecilia, the oldest of his eight children, is the executive director of the MMIF.

During the off season, the couple can be found at their 15 acre complex, called Campo de Sueños ("Field of Dreams"). While Manny is busy working on four baseball fields, Margarita is in the kitchen cooking for hungry children and their families.

The "Field of Dreams" complex became a reality in 1995 after many years of lobbying, letter writing, telephone calls and meetings. The Government of the Dominican Republic donated the land to the MMIF.

When completed, the complex will consists of a school, medical dispensary, community center, baseball diamonds and basketball courts which will be geared to serve more than 5,000 families.

Manny and his wife also fly back and forth between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to conduct their popular baseball clinics, which with support from Major League players and the Dodgers' organization, have been well received by youths who live in the inner city areas of Los Angeles County..

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