Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No.34
Dodgers president Stan Kasten confirmed the news at Saturday’s Fan Fest in Los Angeles.
At last! The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they will retire Fernando Valenzuela’s historic No.34 jersey. The number worn by the legendary Mexican baseball player during his time with the Californians marked a before and after in the relationship between the team and Mexican culture on American soil.
It was at Saturday’s Dodgers Fan Fest that the news was announced to thousands of fans. In addition, Fernando Valenzuela himself was present at the event and his reaction upon finding out was a moving moment for everyone there.
Stan Kasten, Co-owner of the Dodgers and also president, admitted to the LA Times that the retirement of the number 34 was pending: “The question I get asked the most often is ‘when will Fernando’s number be retired? The answer is, this year,” the manager said.
As a player in the MLB El Toro won the Cy Young Award in 1981, the Rookie of the Year Award (1981), the Gold Glove (1986) and the Silver Bat three times (1981, 1986 and 1989). And on top of that, he recorded six shutouts in the 1981 season with six and more games won in the national league with 21 in 1986. A six-time All-Star, Valenzuela spent a decade with the Dodgers and ended his career in 1997 with 41.5 career wins above replacement - the highest of any Mexican-born MLB player.
Currently, he is one of the owners of the Tigres de Quintana Roo and is frequently seen at Los Dodgers events. The number 34 was also withdrawn from the Mexican Baseball League in 2019, so now no player will be able to use it.
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