The Dodgers will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Fernandomania coming to Los Angeles today. While the plans to celebrate Fernando remain a mystery until right before game time, fans will no doubt pack out the stadium.
Fernando Valenzuela made his debut with the Dodgers late in 1980. But it was in 1981 that fans came out to Chavez Ravine every time he made his start. The young southpaw would come out of nowhere to absolutely dominate en route to a Rookie of the Year award and a Cy Young.
Valenzuela spoke with the media ahead of his celebration on Sunday. When asked about how he felt about the Dodgers not retiring his number 34, Fernando gave the humble answer that you might come to expect from him.
To me, it would be nice. Right now, I don’t see anyone wearing that number, so that would be nice, no? I don’t know what the Dodgers are thinking, but I’d be happy if somebody was wearing that number.
The Dodgers don’t have an exact policy in place for determining jersey numbers to retire. Every player that has a number retired with the team went on to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, with the exception of Jim Gilliam.
Funny enough, Dodgers fans have been calling for Fernando to have his jersey retired for years. Could the team pull a fast one and include that in the ceremony this afternoon? We’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves.
The Dodgers take on the Nationals in the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon. Clayton Kershaw will be on the bump for Los Angeles to face off against Washington’s Max Scherzer.