By Sang-yeol Moon] The Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League West celebrated the retirement of left-hander Fernando Valenzuela (34), who spent 11 years with the team, with a grand ceremony at Dodger Stadium on 12 December (Korean time).온라인카지노

Prior to the game against the Colorado Rockies, Dodger legends, dedicated battery mate Mike Socher (former Los Angeles Angels manager), and family members joined fans to celebrate the retirement of Valenzuela. Valenzuela’s number, 34, was placed in the grass in centre field.

“I never expected this to happen,” he said at the press conference. It’s a great honour for me. Thank you to the club.” Latin American journalists were overwhelmingly in attendance.

The club has dubbed the weekend of 12-14 against Colorado “Fernandomania Weekend,” with fans receiving a bobblehead and a replica ring of Valenzuela’s from the 1981 World Series championship.

The Mexican-born Valenzuela is responsible for the Dodgers’ current Hispanic attendance. He made his major league debut in September 1980 during the roster expansion. He was included in the opening day roster in 1981, and his pitching was sensational. It was a pitch that cannot be reproduced today.

Valenzuela fever swept through Southern California, not just Los Angeles. The American media coined the phrase “Fernandomania”. Mexican fans packed Dodger Stadium on the days that Valenzuela pitched.

In his first start of the 1981 season, Valenzuela threw a five-hit, 2-0 shutout against the Houston Astros. On 15 April, he tossed a four-hit, one-run 7-1 complete game against the rival San Francisco Giants. He followed that up with a three-game shutout of the San Diego Padres, Houston (more), and SF.

Valenzuela has completed his first eight starts, five of which have been shutouts. That’s impossible in MLB, where pitch counts are now a bible. Mexican fans nicknamed Valenzuela “El Toro,” or the Bull. He hit 10 home runs in his career, making him the Mexican version of Babe Ruth.

The 1981 season was shortened to 110 games due to the players’ strike. Valenzuela won both the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award after starting 25 games and pitching 192.1 innings, going 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA. It is the only simultaneous award in MLB. Riding the momentum, Valenzuela led the Dodgers to the World Series title.

In his 17-year MLB career, he went 173-153 with a 3.54 ERA. He was 141-116 with a 3.31 ERA in his 11-year career with the Dodgers from 1980-1990, and is now being honoured with a permanent number. He went on to play for five other teams, including San Diego, before retiring in 1997. He is currently a commentator for the Dodgers’ Spanish-language broadcasts.

Valenzuela’s retirement is somewhat overdue. The Dodgers have been stingy with their retirements compared to the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. The New York Mets were the first to retire slugger Gil Hodges, who spent 16 years with the Dodgers. It was only when he was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Seniors Committee in 2022 that the Dodgers permanently disabled him (14).

Valenzuela joins 13 other true Dodger legends – Pee Wee Reese (1), Tommy Lasorda (2), Duke Snyder (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 cast members Vince Scully and Haimi Harin.

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