The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.
Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.
He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.
“The weekend will start on Friday, Aug. 11, which is when Valenzuela’s No. 34 will be unveiled at Dodger Stadium,” announced the MLB. “There will be a collector’s edition bobblehead giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 12, and a replica Valenzuela 1981 World Series ring will be handed out on Sunday, Aug. 13.”
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 with retired numbers.
“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”
Valenzuela was born on November 1, 1960, in Navoja, Sonora, Mexico and was the youngest of seven children. He was taught baseball by his older brothers and as an amateur pitcher, drew professional scouts when he was discovered in 1977 by Los Angeles scout Corito Varona while playing in the Mexican League, according to Britannica.
He became one of the most influential and decorated players in MLB history.
“His rise during the ’81 season has been well-documented and it’s one of the most successful stretches of any pitcher in Major League history. It was the birth of “Fernandomania,” a phenomenon that is celebrated to this date,” officials said.
“It’s going to be a very, very special night,” said Jaime Jarrín, a longtime Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster who retired following the 2022 season. “The people love him. It’s amazing. He left the Dodgers almost 40 years ago and still, when he’s here and the people feel that his name is going to be mentioned in some way, they turn to the booth right away and give him a large applause. People love him. It’s unbelievable, and his charisma is very, very, very special.”