The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire Fernando Valenzuela's #34 this August

The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire Fernando Valenzuela's #34 this August
05 Feb
Not in Hall of Fame

Regular visitors of know that we are slowly working on the top 50 of every major team in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB.  Once that is done, we intend to look at how each team honor their past players, coaches and executives.  As such, it is important to us that the Seattle Mariners have announced that the Los Angeles Dodgers will retire Fernando Valenzuela’s #34 this August.

The Dodgers accidentally discovered Valenzuela as they were scouting a Shortstop in Mexico.  They were dazzled by the rotund hurler and signed him, buying out his Mexican League contract in 1979.  A year later, he was a September callup, and in 17.2 Innings, he never allowed a run.  It didn't take a clairvoyant to see what might happen in 1981.

"El Toro" helped the Dodgers win the 1981 World Series.  That season, he won the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young, making him the first player to accomplish that in the same year.  Valenzuela was the opening day starter, and everyone in Los Angeles took the Mexican star to heart.

The mania surrounding Valenzuela cooled, but he was still an elite pitcher for many years.  He was an All-Star each year from 1981 to 1986, and he had three more top-five finishes in Cy Young voting.  Valenzuela would have three 200 Strikeout years, and he was also a decent batter, winning two Silver Sluggers, as well as aiding L.A to a World Series win in 1988.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges. Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale who have their number retired by the Dodgers.

Pitchers had better careers, but many of those never captured the imagination of baseball fans like Fernando Valenzuela.

We here at would like to congratulate Fernando Valenzuela for this impending honor.

Last modified on Monday, 06 February 2023 14:03
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