Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela Becomes a U.S. Citizen

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Former Dodgers great Fernando Valenzuela on Wednesday became a U.S. citizen. (Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Fernando Valenzuela has accomplished plenty in his 54 years — Rookie of the Year, Cy Young award, World Series champion, no-hitter.

But now he’s accomplished something never done before — become a United States citizen.

Valenzuela raised his right hand and took the oath of allegiance to the U.S. at the immigration naturalization ceremony Wednesday morning in downtown Los Angeles. Although he could have opted for a private ceremony, the Dodgers said he elected to join approximately 8,000 others at the ceremony.

Valenzuela burst upon the baseball scene in 1981, a fresh-faced 20-year-old from the Mexican League who mystified hitters with his screwball and ignited Fernandomania across Los Angeles.

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