Fernando Valenzuela Anguamea (Spanish pronunciation: [feɾˈnando βalenˈswela], born November 1, 1960) is a Mexican former professional baseball pitcher. Valenzuela played 17 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, from 1980 to 1991 and 1993 to 1997. While he played for six MLB teams, he is best remembered for his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Valenzuela batted and threw left-handed. His career highlights include a win-loss record of 173–153, with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.54. Valenzuela was notable for his unorthodox windup and for being one of a small number of pitchers who threw a screwball regularly. Never a particularly hard thrower, the Dodgers felt he needed another pitch; he was taught the screwball in 1979 by teammate Bobby Castillo.
Valenzuela was signed by the Dodgers on July 6, 1979, and he made his debut late in the 1980 season. In 1981, in what came to be called "Fernandomania," Valenzuela rose from relative obscurity to achieve super-stardom. He won his first eight starts (five of them shutouts). Valenzuela finished with a record of 13–7 and had a 2.48 ERA; the season was shortened by a player’s strike. He became the first, and to date, the only player to win both Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season.
Valenzuela had the best period of his career from 1981 to 1986. He was named a National League (NL) All-Star in each season and won a major league-leading 21 games in 1986, although Mike Scott of the Houston Astros narrowly beat him out in the Cy Young Award voting. Valenzuela was also known as one of the better hitting pitchers of his era. He had ten career home runs and was occasionally used by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda as a pinch-hitter. However, for the remainder of Valenzuela’s Dodgers career, his pitching efforts were rendered less effective, largely due to nagging shoulder problems. He was on the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series championship team, but he did not play in the postseason because of his ailing shoulder. On June 29, 1990, Valenzuela threw his only MLB no-hitter, pitching at Dodger Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals, a 6–0 victory. The no-hitter was notable for being the second one pitched that day; former-Dodgers right-hander Dave “Smoke” Stewart of the Oakland Athletics had just no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays a few hours earlier. Despite having recently shown flashes of his former self, he was unceremoniously released by the Dodgers just prior to the 1991 season. The remainder of his big league career was spent with the California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and St. Louis Cardinals.
Valenzuela with the Dodgers in 1981
|Born: November 1, 1960|
Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico
|September 15, 1980, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 14, 1997, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.54|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
Fernando Valenzuela, the youngest of twelve children, was born in Etchohuaquila, a small town within the municipality of Navojoa in the state of Sonora, Mexico. His birth date is officially listed as November 1, 1960, but during his rookie season in 1981, several commentators questioned his age, guessing him to be significantly older than twenty.
In 1977, Valenzuela began his professional baseball career when he signed with the Mayos de Navojoa. A year later, he was sent to the Guanajuato Tuzos of the Mexican Central League, posting a 5–6 record with a 2.23 ERA. The following year, the Mexican Central League was absorbed into the expanded Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (Mexican Baseball League), automatically elevating then 18-year-old Valenzuela to the Triple-A level. Pitching for the Leones de Yucatán (Yucatán Lions) that year, Valenzuela went 10–12 with a 2.49 ERA and 141 strikeouts.
A number of MLB teams scouted Valenzuela during this time. Los Angeles Dodgers scout Mike Brito had gone to a game in Mexico to evaluate a shortstop named Ali Uscanga. Valenzuela threw three balls to Uscanga to fall behind in the count and then threw three straight strikes to strike out the batter. Brito said later that at that point, he "forgot all about the shortstop." The Dodgers finally gambled on the young lefty, buying out his Liga contract on July 6, 1979, for $120,000.
After acquiring Valenzuela in the summer of 1979, the Dodgers assigned him to the Lodi Dodgers of the High-A level California League where he posted a 1–2 record and a 1.13 earned run average (ERA) in limited action. The Dodgers felt that Valenzuela needed to learn to throw an off-speed pitch, so they had Dodgers pitcher Bobby Castillo teach him to throw the screwball before the 1980 season. In 1980 Valenzuela was promoted to the Double-A level San Antonio Dodgers. There Valenzuela led the Texas League with 162 strikeouts, finishing the season with a 13–9 win-loss record and a 3.10 ERA.
Valenzuela was called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen in September 1980. In the last month of the season, Valenzuela helped the Dodgers to a tie with the Houston Astros for the Western Division lead, pitching 172⁄3 scoreless innings of relief over the course of ten games, during which he earned two wins and a save. However, the Dodgers then lost a one-game playoff—and thus, the division championship—to the Astros.
The following season, Valenzuela was named the Opening Day starter as a rookie after Jerry Reuss was injured 24 hours before his scheduled start, and Burt Hooton was not ready to fill in. Valenzuela shut out the Houston Astros 2–0. He started the season 8–0 with five shutouts and an ERA of 0.50. In addition to his dominance on the mound, Valenzuela's unusual and flamboyant pitching motion—including a glance skyward at the apex of each wind-up—drew attention of its own. It was a habit he claims to have developed spontaneously, although not until joining the Dodgers.
An instant media icon, Valenzuela drew large crowds from Los Angeles' Latino community every time he pitched and triggered high demand across the country for his rookie 1981 Topps and Fleer baseball cards. The craze surrounding Valenzuela came to be known as "Fernandomania." During his warm-up routine at Dodger Stadium, the PA system would play ABBA's 1976 hit song Fernando. He became the first player to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the Cy Young Award in the same season. He was also the first rookie to lead the National League in strikeouts. The Dodgers won the World Series that season.
Valenzuela was less dominant after the 1981 player strike wiped out the middle third of the season, but the left-hander still finished with a 13–7 record and a 2.48 ERA. He led all pitchers in complete games (11), shutouts (8), innings pitched (192.1), and strikeouts (180). In the postseason, Valenzuela became the youngest pitcher to start the first game of a World Series and pitched a complete game in Game 3 against the New York Yankees. In total, he went 3–1 in the postseason as he helped the Dodgers to their first world championship since 1965.
In addition to his skills on the mound, Valenzuela also displayed much better offensive skills than most pitchers. During his rookie season, Valenzuela batted .250 and struck out just 9 times in 64 at bats, and he was the recipient of the National League's Silver Slugger Award for pitchers.
Following his outstanding debut, Valenzuela, nicknamed "El Toro" (the Bull) by fans, settled down into a number of years as a workhorse starter and one of the league's best pitchers. He had one of his best seasons in 1986, when he finished 21–11 with a 3.14 ERA and led the league in wins, complete games and innings pitched. He lost a narrow vote for the Cy Young Award to the Astros' Mike Scott.
In 1987 his performance declined; he earned a 14–14 win-loss record with a 3.98 ERA. In 1988, a year in which the Dodgers won the World Series, he won just five games and missed much of the season. He improved slightly in 1989 and went 10–13; he posted a 13–13 record in 1990. He had one last great moment on June 29, 1990, when he threw a 6–0 no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals just hours after the Oakland Athletics' Dave Stewart had thrown one against the Toronto Blue Jays. According to teammate Mike Scioscia, Fernando and many Dodger players watched Stewart, who was a former Dodgers player, throw the no-hitter on TV. Afterward, before his game, Fernando said to his teammates, "You just saw a no-hitter on TV. Now you will see one in person."
Early in his major league career, Valenzuela had trouble communicating with his catchers because he spoke very little English. Mike Scioscia, after being called up as a rookie, made the effort to learn Spanish and eventually became Valenzuela's "personal catcher" with the Dodgers before becoming the full-time catcher.
After pitching ineffectively in spring training in 1991, Valenzuela was released by the Dodgers. At the time of Valenzuela's release, several Dodgers leaders, including Tommy Lasorda, Fred Claire, and Peter O'Malley, praised Valenzuela for creating exciting memories over several seasons and they indicated that it was a difficult decision to release him.
An abortive attempt at a comeback with the California Angels failed later that summer. Valenzuela signed with the Detroit Tigers in the spring of 1992, but he never played for the team, and his contract was purchased by Jalisco of the Mexican League that summer. He pitched and played some first base when he wasn't on the mound before making another brief comeback in 1993 with the Baltimore Orioles.
Jumping between the big leagues and Mexico for the next few seasons, he put together one more solid big-league season in 1996 for the San Diego Padres, going 13–8 with a 3.62 ERA. He retired a year later with a final record of 173–153 and a 3.54 ERA as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
On June 29, 2004, Valenzuela announced he would return to the mound in the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico (the Mexican Pacific Coast League) to play for Los Aguilas de Mexicali in October; he was nearly 44 years old at the time. He pitched again in the Mexican winter league during the 2005–06 season. On December 20, 2006, in Mexicali, BC, Mexico, Fernando Valenzuela was the starting pitcher for Los Aguilas de Mexicali in the last professional game of his career.
Valenzuela was considered an atypically good hitter for a pitcher. His best year at the plate was 1990—his last year with the Dodgers—when he hit .304 with 5 doubles, 1 home run, and 11 RBI in 69 at-bats. That gave him a 101 OPS+, meaning Valenzuela ranked just above average among all National League hitters that year, including non-pitchers. In 936 career at-bats—roughly two full seasons worth of at-bats for a full-time position player—his career batting average was .200, with 10 home runs, 26 doubles, and 84 RBI. Valenzuela was even used on occasion as a pinch-hitter, batting .368 (7-for-19) in such situations. Twice while with the Dodgers, Valenzuela was called upon to play outfield and first base in marathon extra-inning games in which he did not pitch. He won the Silver Slugger award for pitchers in 1981 and 1983.
In 2003, Valenzuela returned to the Dodgers organization as the Spanish-language radio color commentator for National League West games, joining Jaime Jarrín and Pepe Ýñiguez in the Spanish-language booth. In 2015, he was switched to the color commentator job on the Spanish-language feed of SportsNet LA.
Valenzuela was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on August 23, 2003, in a pregame on the field ceremony at Dodger Stadium. In 2005, he was named one of three starting pitchers on MLB's Latino Legends Team. In 2013, he was enshrined into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Mexican Baseball League will commemorate the great legacy of Fernando Valezuela on 6 July 2019 and withdraw shirt number 34 from the entire league.
In 1981, Valenzuela married Linda Burgos, a schoolteacher from Mexico. Early in his career, Valenzuela and his family spent offseasons between the Mexican cities of Etchohuaquila and Mérida. The couple have four children. One of Valenzuela's sons, Fernando, Jr., played in the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox organizations as a first baseman. Since 2006, Fernando Jr. has played minor league baseball in Mexico or in independent leagues.
Valenzuela became a U.S. citizen on July 22, 2015, at a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. He has participated in two Tournament of Roses Parades—in 1983 aboard the float from the Government of Mexico and in 2008 aboard the Los Angeles Dodgers' float. In 1981, Valenzuela participated in the East Los Angeles Christmas Parade as Grand Marshal.
The 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers season got off to a strong start when rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela pitched a shutout on opening day, starting the craze that came to be known as "Fernandomania." Fernando went on to win both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards.
The season was divided into two halves because of a players strike in mid-season. The Dodgers won the Western Division of the National League in the first half and advanced to the playoffs. They beat the Houston Astros in a divisional playoff and the Montreal Expos in the National League Championship Series before beating the New York Yankees to win the World Series.1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 52nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on August 9, 1981, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.
This was one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July (the other being the second 1959 game). The game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the players' strike lasting from June 12 to July 31. It was then brought back as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day. At 72,086 people in attendance, it broke the stadium's own record of 69,751 set in 1954, setting the still-standing record for the highest attendance in an All Star Game.
Cleveland Stadium set a new All-Star Game record by hosting its fourth (and ultimately, final) Midsummer Classic. By the time Indians played host to the All-Star Game for the fifth time in 1997, they had moved to Jacobs Field.1981 Major League Baseball season
The 1981 Major League Baseball season had a players' strike, which lasted from June 12 to July 31, 1981, and split the season in two halves.
The All-Star Game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the strike. It was then brought back and played on August 9, as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day.1983 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1983 Los Angeles Dodgers rebounded from being eliminated from the playoffs on the final day of the previous season to win their second National League Western Division title in three years, but lost in the National League Championship Series to the Philadelphia Phillies 3 games to 1.1985 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Fernando Valenzuela set a major league record for most consecutive innings at the start of a season without allowing an earned run (41).1986 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1986 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in fifth place in the Western Division of the National League.1990 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The Dodgers finished in second place to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1990 National League Western Division race, as the teams pitching staff led the majors with 29 complete games. Ramón Martínez became the youngest Dodger starter to win 20 games since Ralph Branca and also tied Sandy Koufax's club record with 18 strikeouts against the Atlanta Braves on June 4. On June 29, Fernando Valenzuela managed to throw a no hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, the same night that Dave Stewart threw a no hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays as well.1995 San Diego Padres season
The 1995 San Diego Padres season was the 27th season in franchise history.Bobby Castillo
Robert Ernie "Babo" Castillo Jr. (April 18, 1955 – June 30, 2014) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1977 and 1985. He was in the bullpen for the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, pitching one inning against the New York Yankees. He also pitched one season in Japan for the Chunichi Dragons in 1987. Castillo is credited with teaching his former Dodgers team-mate, Fernando Valenzuela, how to throw a screwball.Castillo died on June 30, 2014 from cancer at the age of 59.Bruce Berenyi
Bruce Berenyi (born August 21, 1954) is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues as a starting pitcher from 1980-1986. Berenyi was fourth in the voting for the National League Rookie of the Year in 1981 after gaining a 9-6 record. The award was won by Fernando Valenzuela.
Berenyi once recorded four strikeouts in one inning, made possible by a dropped third strike.List of Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Los Angeles. They play in the National League West division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Dodgers have used 22 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 61 seasons in Los Angeles. The 22 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 27 wins, 26 losses and 8 no decisions.The Dodgers started playing in Los Angeles in 1958, after moving from Brooklyn. The first Opening Day game for the Dodgers in Los Angeles was played in San Francisco against the San Francisco Giants on April 15, 1958. California native Don Drysdale was the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitcher that day, in a game the Dodgers lost 8–0. Dodgers starting pitchers won both of their Opening Day starts in their first home ballpark in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.Kershaw's eight Opening Day starts for the Dodgers from 2011 to 2018 are the most ever by a Dodgers starter, one more than Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. Fernando Valenzuela, Ramón Martínez and Orel Hershiser have had at least four Opening Day starts, with six, five and four respectively. Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who won three Cy Young Awards during the 1960s, only made one Opening Day start for the Dodgers, in 1964. Drysdale and Kershaw are also tied for the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most wins as an Opening Day starter, with five wins. Drysdale also had two loses while Kershaw has one loss.Koufax (1964), Chan Ho Park (2001), Brad Penny (2008) and Hiroki Kuroda (2009) are the only Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers to have won all their Opening Day decisions, Martinez and Derek Lowe share the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most Opening Day losses, with three. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series championship in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988. Drysdale (1959, 1963 and 1965), and Fernando Valenzuela (1981 and 1988) were the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitchers those years. The Dodgers' starting pitcher won the Opening Day game in 1963, 1965 and 1981, but lost in 1959 and 1988.List of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasters
This article details the current and historical radio and television broadcasters for the National League Los Angeles Dodgers, which have been running for over eight decades, which began when the then Brooklyn Dodgers became one of the first MLB teams to begin radio broadcasts and were the first to be featured on a television baseball game broadcast, both during the 1939 season.List of Los Angeles Dodgers seasons
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the second most successful franchise in the National League and the third-most successful and second-most wealthy in Major League Baseball after the New York Yankees. The franchise was formerly based in Brooklyn and known originally as the "Grays" or "Trolley Dodgers" after the trams which supporters had to avoid to enter games. Later it became known successively as the "Bridegrooms", "Superbas", "Dodgers" and "Robins"; the present "Dodgers" was firmly established in 1932.
The franchise has won the World Series six times and lost a further 13, and like the Yankees and Cardinals have never lost 100 games in a season since World War I, with their worst record since then being in 1992 with 63 wins and their best records ever being in 1953 with 105 wins and both 1942 and 2017 with 104. Their most successful period, between 1947 and 1966 with ten World Series appearances and only two seasons with 71 or more losses (one of them the year they moved to Los Angeles after a dispute over stadium funding), was famous for the Dodgers becoming the first Major League Baseball team to incorporate African American players, led by Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.List of Silver Slugger Award winners at pitcher
The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include the designated hitter, who replaces the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead. Mike Hampton has won the most Silver Sluggers as a pitcher, earning five consecutive awards with four different teams from 1999 to 2003. Tom Glavine is a four-time winner (1991, 1995–1996, 1998) with the Atlanta Braves. Rick Rhoden (1984–1986), Don Robinson (1982, 1989–1990), and Carlos Zambrano (2006, 2008–2009) each own three Silver Sluggers. Two-time winners include the inaugural winner, Bob Forsch (1980, 1987),, Fernando Valenzuela (1981, 1983), who won the Cy Young Award, the Rookie of the Year Award, and the Silver Slugger in his first full major league season., and Madison Bumgarner (2014–2015). The most recent winner is Germán Márquez.
Hampton has hit the most home runs in a pitcher's Silver Slugger-winning season, with seven in 2001. He is tied with Robinson as the leader in runs batted in, with 16 (Hampton, 2001; Robinson, 1982). Zack Greinke leads all Silver Slugger-winning pitchers in on-base percentage with a .409 clip set in 2013. Orel Hershiser leads winning pitchers in batting average, with the .356 mark he set in 1993. Micah Owings is the slugging percentage leader among winners (.683 in 2007).Los Angeles Dodgers award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball franchise, including its years in Brooklyn (1883–1957).Lucas Fernando Palacios
Lucas Fernando Palacios y Valenzuela (?? - 1761) was a military official who served as governor of Spanish Florida from 21 April 1758 to 6 December 1761.Pepe Yñiguez
Pepe Yñiguez is a Spanish-language baseball broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He joined the Dodgers broadcast team in 1999, teaming with Hall of Fame announcer Jaime Jarrín. For several off-seasons he also hosted "Central Deportiva", a weekly sports talk show on KWKW. He has also broadcast numerous events for Fox Sports International, including the 1997–2005 World Series. He has also broadcast the 1997 Major League Baseball All-Star Game and the Caribbean Series. From 1993-95 he also served as the Spanish radio broadcaster for the Los Angeles Raiders. Beginning with the 2015 season he began calling the Dodgers games on the Spanish language feed of SportsNet LA alongside former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.Screwball
A screwball is a baseball and fastpitch softball pitch that is thrown so as to break in the opposite direction of a slider or curveball. Depending on the pitcher's arm angle, the ball may also have a sinking action.
Carl Hubbell was one of the most renowned screwball pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball. Hubbell was known as the "scroogie king" for his mastery of the pitch and the frequency with which he threw it. Other famous screwball artists include Tug McGraw and Cy Young Award winners Mike Cuellar, Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Marshall, and Willie Hernández.Tigres de Quintana Roo
The Quintana Roo Tigers (Spanish: Tigres de Quintana Roo) also known as the Mexico Tigers (Spanish: Tigres del México) are a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team located in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The team is part of the Southern Division (Zona Sur) of the Mexican Baseball League. The Tigres were founded in Mexico City in 1955 and played there through the 2006 season. The team was founded by industrial businessman Alejo Peralta and owned by his son, Carlos Peralta, for a long time. The team was purchased by Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela in 2017.
They have a competitive and long-standing rivalry known as the Guerra Civil (Civil War) against their former crosstown rivals the Diablos Rojos del Mexico. The Tigres won the Mexican League championship in their inaugural season, an achievement that has never been matched, and was dubbed: "El equipo que nació campeón" (English: The team that was born as champion). The Tigres are a perennial powerhouse and have won 18 division and 12 league championships since their inception.
|Awards and achievements|
| Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
| No-hitter pitcher
June 29, 1990