At "Fernandomania" Weekend, Dodgers To Retire No. 34 - East L.A. Sports Scene (2024)

At "Fernandomania" Weekend, Dodgers To Retire No. 34 - East L.A. Sports Scene (1)(East Los Angeles, CA)[From The Editor’s Desk]: The memorable, magical, and historical, timeframe isnow finalized and has been merged under the Team’s ownership and management to give Dodger Fans and DodgersNation the public announcement that El Número, #34, sewn and stitched on the fabled and unforgettable baseball uniform worn by the legendary Dodger himself,Fernando Valenzuela, will officially be retired in August during “Fernandomania Weekend” August 11th through the 13th.


While we are on the topic of celebration of his #34 jersey retirement, there still exists a very largeconsensus of Fernando’spermanentfan-base that is continuing to explore another nomination for his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

But first things first, what a great moment it will be on FridayAugust 11th to look up and see his #34 jersey finally, andpermanentlydisplayed in Dodger Stadium, the origin of, and forever home of “Fernandomania.”In baseball’s modern era, it still remainsthe unequaled feat for a major league player to first, give cause for thecreation of his own loving fan movement, and second, in a very short time thereafter, to have it named after him. ¡Viva Fernando Valenzuela y Su Número 34!

Those special weekend single-game tickets for Fernandomania Weekend are now on sale, so make sure you get your ticket orderscompleted as soon as possible, as the odds are great for aweekend sell-out.

During their recent Dodgers Fan Festheld at the Stadium onSaturday, 2/4, the team’s Media Relations Department released this announcement and the courtesy video of the event for all of Dodgers Nation to be aware of, and then wait patiently and happily for the official celebratory event(s) to take place at Dodger Stadium. Congrats Fernando!! and Thank You Dodgers!! / !!Felicitaciones Al Número 34, FernandoValenzuela!! y !!Mil Gracias a Los Dodgers!!


LOS ANGELES– The Los Angeles Dodgers recently announced that one of the most enduring and popular players in Dodger history, left-handed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, will have his number “34” retired this summer during a special three-day celebration. The announcement was made during the Dodgers’ 2023 FanFest, presented by Budweiser.

“Fernandomania” weekend will take place August11-13when the Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. The festivities will kick off with the Ring of Honor ceremony on Friday Night, a collector’s edition bobblehead on Saturday night and a replica Valenzuela 1981 World Series ring on Sunday. There will be many other fun and exciting elements planned for the entire weekend which will be announced in the coming weeks.

Valenzuela was a member of two World Series championship teams, won the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards, was selected to six All-Star teams and even won two Silver Slugger Awards (1981, 1983) during his 11 years with the Dodgers from 1980-90.

At "Fernandomania" Weekend, Dodgers To Retire No. 34 - East L.A. Sports Scene (2)

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” said Fernando Valenzuela. “But also for the fans — the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them. I’m happy for all the fans and all the people who have followed my career. They’re going to be very excited to know that my No. 34 is being retired.”

Valenzuela’s number “34” will take its place among those previously displayed on the left field club level—Pee Wee Reese (#1), Tommy Lasorda (#2), Duke Snider (#4), Gil Hodges (#14). Jim Gilliam (#19), Don Sutton (#20), Walter Alston (#24), Sandy Koufax (#32), Roy Campanella (#39), Jackie Robinson (#42), Don Drysdale (#53) and Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrín.

“I am incredibly happy that number 34 for the Los Angeles Dodgers will be retired forever,” said Stan Kasten, Dodger President & CEO. “The one question that I continuously get asked, more than anything else, is about retiring Fernando Valenzuela’s number. The citywide call by our fans to honor him is truly remarkable. What he accomplished during his playing career, not only on the field but in the community, is extraordinary. He truly lit up the imaginations of baseball fans everywhere. It’s hard to envision a player having a greater impact on a fan base then the one Fernando has had.”

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Valenzuela’s remarkable career placed him among the all-time L.A. Dodger leaders in wins (141, 6th), strikeouts (1,759, 5th), innings (2348.2, 4th), starts (320, 4th), complete games (107, 4th) and shutouts (29, 5th). He is best remembered for bursting onto the scene with a shutout of the Astros on Opening Day 1981. That unexpected outing was made possible when an injured Jerry Reuss couldn’t answer the bell and began a run of eight consecutive victories, including five shutouts and a streak of 35 straight scoreless innings. This immediately gave rise to the phenomenon known as “Fernandomania,” in which fans would flock to his starts, both at home and on the road. The Mexican left-hander almost single-handedly changed the Dodger fan base in this timeframe and in the coming years, and he would go on to claim the NL Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and a World Championship in his first full season.He is the only Major Leaguer to ever win the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in the same season.

“El Toro” was celebrated for his unorthodox pitching delivery as well as his signature pitch, the screwball, taught to him by friend and teammate Bobby Castillo in 1979. He would win a career high 21 games in 1986 and throw a no-hitter vs. the Cardinals on June 29, 1990, in which Vin Scully exclaimed after the final out: “If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky!”

Valenzuela retired in 1997 after 17 big league seasons as the all-time leader in wins (173) and strikeouts (2,074) among Mexican-born Major Leaguers. Following his playing career, Valenzuela rejoined the Dodger organization as a broadcaster in 2003 alongside Jarrín, who first go to know his old broadcasting partner while translating for Valenzuela during the height of “Fernandomania” in 1981.

“He created more baseball fans, and Dodger fans, than any other player,” said Jarrín, who called Dodger games from 1959-2022. “Thanks to this kid, people fell in love with baseball. Especially within the Mexican community.”

In 2010, Valenzuela was the subject of an “ESPN 30 for 30 documentary,” directed by Mexican native and Los Angeles-raised Cruz Angeles, who said this on the eve of the film’s debut: “For my generation, I’m talking Generation X, the children of Mexican immigrants that grew up in Southern California in the 1980s, he’s not a myth, he was a hero. He was the Mexican who made it and was destroying all of the competition. All fathers wanted their sons to be the next Fernando Valenzuela, and all of us kids would imitate his delivery, looking up to the sky, hands up in the air high and everything. He was one of us, and we wanted to be like him.”

A native ofEtchohuaquila, Sonora, Mexico, Valenzuela has been active in both the Los Angeles and Mexican communities during his post-playing career. He was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on August 23, 2003, in a pregame on the field ceremony at Dodger Stadium, and in 2013 he was enshrined into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame. More recently, the Mexican Baseball League retired his No. 34 in 2019. Valenzuela has served as a player, coach and general manager for Team Mexico in several international competitions, including the World Baseball Classic.

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He was inducted into the “Legends of Dodger Baseball” in 2019 and became a naturalized citizen of the Unites States in 2015. Last year, he was honored with the “Outstanding Americans by Choice” recognition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Service.

Valenzuela is married to Linda Valenzuela and lives in LosAngeles. He is very proud of his two sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.

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As an enthusiast and expert in baseball history and the Los Angeles Dodgers, I can attest to the significance and impact of Fernando Valenzuela's contributions to the team and the sport. My extensive knowledge allows me to provide a comprehensive analysis of the key concepts presented in the article.

  1. Jersey Retirement and Celebration:

    • The article announces the official retirement of Fernando Valenzuela's iconic #34 jersey during "Fernandomania Weekend" on August 11th through the 13th.
    • The celebration includes a Ring of Honor ceremony on Friday night, a collector's edition bobblehead on Saturday night, and a replica Valenzuela 1981 World Series ring on Sunday.
  2. Fernando Valenzuela's Achievements:

    • Valenzuela, a left-handed pitcher, played a crucial role in two World Series championship teams and achieved numerous accolades during his 11 years with the Dodgers from 1980-90.
    • Awards include the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards, six All-Star selections, and two Silver Slugger Awards (1981, 1983).
  3. Historical Impact and "Fernandomania":

    • Valenzuela's unexpected debut in 1981, marked by a shutout on Opening Day, triggered the phenomenon known as "Fernandomania." This unprecedented fan movement quickly named after him remains a unique feat in baseball's modern era.
    • His impact on the Dodger fan base and the broader baseball community is unparalleled, with fans flocking to his starts both at home and on the road.
  4. Retirement Ceremony and Dodger Legends:

    • Valenzuela's #34 will join the prestigious list of retired numbers displayed on the left field club level at Dodger Stadium. This includes legends such as Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax, and Jackie Robinson.
    • Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten emphasizes the extraordinary impact Valenzuela had both on and off the field, expressing the citywide call to honor him.
  5. Valenzuela's Career Statistics and Achievements:

    • Valenzuela's remarkable career stats place him among the all-time leaders in various categories for the L.A. Dodgers, including wins, strikeouts, innings, starts, complete games, and shutouts.
    • He is the only Major Leaguer to win the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in the same season.
  6. Post-Playing Career and Community Involvement:

    • Valenzuela's impact extends beyond his playing career, as he became a broadcaster for the Dodgers in 2003 and has been actively involved in both the Los Angeles and Mexican communities.
    • Recognition includes inductions into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame and the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame.
  7. Legacy and Recognition:

    • The article highlights Valenzuela's enduring legacy, both as a player and a cultural icon, particularly within the Mexican community.
    • His contributions are acknowledged through various honors, including the retirement of his No. 34 in the Mexican Baseball League in 2019 and induction into the "Legends of Dodger Baseball" in 2019.

In summary, Fernando Valenzuela's jersey retirement represents a significant and well-deserved honor for a player who not only excelled on the field but also left an indelible mark on the culture and community surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers. The article captures the excitement and anticipation surrounding the upcoming celebration, paying tribute to a baseball legend.

At "Fernandomania" Weekend, Dodgers To Retire No. 34 - East L.A. Sports Scene (2024)
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