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Dodgers: Fernando Valenzuela Speaks Out On His Number Not Being Retired by the Team

Please retire #34 already.



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. 

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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. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Well, this is a no-brainer. Name one other player in L.A. history that was so omnipresent, so community galvanizing, so…L.A.!

    I’m sitting here trying to think of another player that had an era named after him. Fernandomania? Sure! But, anyone else? So, of course #34 should be retired…

  2. That would be great but I would like to see #6 Steve Garvey number to be retired. San Diego did it and he was only there for 4 years.

    • Raymond, looks like Dodgers have a problem with respect for former players who gave good years to team. Gil Hodges number 14 was retired by the Mets after less than 3 years of service,.

  3. Will the team, be celebrating the 40th year marking the whole ’81 WS team?? As I recall they slightly did that back in ’06 with a giveaway blanket.

  4. I don’t see why any players number should be retired.

    Retiring numbers is nonsense player worship.

    If there is any true honor is should be in a player being able to wear a past players number.

  5. I asked about this years ago in regards to Don Newcombe’s 36. The policy was only players inducted into the Baseball HOF were considered to have their Dodger number retired, with the exception of Jim Gilliam. Maybe new management will change this policy.

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