A deserved honor for a Dodgers legend
The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire former star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela's No. 34 as part of a themed weekend called “Fernandomania” from August 11-13.
“Being part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor. […] I am happy for all the fans and fans who have followed my career.
“They will be very excited to know that my number 34 will be retired,” the man whose comments were reported by the Major League Baseball website said on Saturday.
Since leaving the California team in 1990 , no Dodgers player has worn his number. However, his number was never retired, as it is a team policy that only players who have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame are eligible to receive this honor.
The only exception to this rule was given to number 19 Jim Gilliam, who the Dodgers retired after his sudden death in 1978.
Montreal Expos fans remember the southpaw as the one who was the starting pitcher in Game 5 of the 1981 National League Championship Series at Olympic Stadium.
Valenzuela had pitched eight and two-thirds innings, allowing his team to eliminate the Quebec team during his first appearance in the post-season series in its history.
In 17 seasons in major league baseball, the one who is considered the best Mexican player in league history won the prestigious Cy-Young Trophy three times and pitched a game without a run or hit on June 29, 1990.
Valenzuela played 17 major league seasons and played for the Dodgers for 11 campaigns (1980 to 1991).
He then worked for the An California Gels (1991), Baltimore Orioles (1993), Philadelphia Phillies (1994), San Diego Padres (1995 to 1997) and St. Louis Cardinals (1997).