The city of Los Angeles is celebrating the career of an All-Time Dodger great by dedicating a day to him.
At Dodger Stadium this weekend, the Dodgers are honoring Fernando Valenzuela by retiring his number 34. On Friday, August 11th, not only will Valenzuela’s number be retired, the City of Los Angeles has also dedicated the day to him.
Friday night is the first day of festivities that the Dodgers have planned to celebrate the legendary career of Valenzuela. Not only are they retiring his number, the team is giving away a bobblehead of him Saturday and a replica of his 1981 World Series ring on Sunday.
Valenzuela came onto the scene in 1981 and “Fernandomania” became a nationwide phenomenon. As a 20-year-old, Fernando led the league in strikeouts, innings thrown, complete games and shutouts. The lefty became the first and only pitcher ever to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young in the same season.
Valenzuela won two Silver Sluggers and played on six All-Star teams, during his 11-year career with the Dodgers. He also won another World Series Championship with the Dodgers in 1988.
Valenzuela is joining an exclusive group of Dodgers who have had their numbers retired by the team. He joins Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale as players who numbers are retired.
Since leaving the Dodgers in 1990, Valenzuela played seven more seasons with five different teams. He returned to the Dodgers in 2003 to become the Spanish radio analyst. Up until last year, Valenzuela was paired up with legendary announcer Jamie Jarrin to call Dodgers games.
Valenzuela still holds the record for most strikeouts and wins by a Mexican-born player.
This isn’t the first time that the Dodgers have honored Valenzuela. In 2019, he was inducted into the “Legends of Dodgers Baseball” which is the team’s own Hall of Fame.
Photo Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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