This weekend, the Dodgers will commemorate the career of one of the most iconic players in club history, when Mexican Fernando Valenzuela sees his number 34 retired Friday during a pre-game ceremony between the Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers Rockies.
Prior to the game, “El Toro” will stop at City Hall, where the Los Angeles City Council will make a special proclamation declaring August 11, 2023 “Fernando Valenzuela Day” in the City of Los Angeles.
The Navojoa native was part of two World Series championship teams, won Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in 1981, and was called up to six All-Star Games and won two Silver Sluggers (1981, 1983) during his 11 years with the Dodgers between 1980 and 1990. .
“Being part of a group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “For the fans – the support they’ve given me as a player and working with the Dodgers – this is for them as well. I’m happy for all the fans and all the people who’ve followed my career. They’ll be so excited I know my number 34 is going to be retired.”
Valenzuela’s “34” will be immortalized in left field at Dodger Stadium, where he will join the club’s other retired numbers – Pee Wee Reese (#1), Tommy Lasorda (#2), Duke Snyder (#4), Gil Hodges (#14). Jim Gilliam (#19), Don Sutton (#20), Walter Alston (#24), Sandy Kovacs (#32), Roy Campanella (#39), Jackie Robinson (#42), Don Drysdale (#53) Storytellers Inducted into the Hall of Fame are Vin Scully and Ecuadorian Jaime Garín.
“He created more baseball fans and Dodgers than any other player,” said Garin, who called Dodgers games between 1959 and 2022. “Thanks to this guy, people fell in love with baseball, especially within the Mexican community.”
“Bacon ninja. Travel advocate. Writer. Incurable pop culture expert. Evil zombie geek. Lifelong coffee scholar. Alcohol specialist.”