for decades, Fernando ValenzuelaThe shirt number was No. 34 It has been unofficially retired by Dodgers players and coaches in a nod to the legendary Mexican pitcher.
Friday night, and Dodgers Finally made it official.
Valenzuela’s number was officially retired by the team during a pregame ceremony by the Dodgers Colorado Rockies were defeated 6-1 at Dodger Stadium.
“I never thought this was ever going to happen,” Valenzuela said before the ceremony. Cooperstown. It really surprised me. It’s hard to put into words what this means.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emphasized the significance of Valenzuela’s accomplishments as a player and cultural icon during his 11 seasons in the Dodger blue.
“Fernando’s legacy and influence will live on forever,” said Roberts. “It’s been going on for such a long time, not just for the Dodgers but for all of Major League Baseball. It’s been an inspiration to so many people. Just to be able to break down blocks and be so humble while doing it.”
Will the Dodgers ever see a player like Valenzuela again? Roberts is not sure “Fernandomania” will ever be repeated.
“I think it was quite unique,” said Roberts. “It was kind of a perfect storm with the city of L.A. and a lot of people who are like Fernando, how he just came out successful and influential. To parallel what he’s done.”
Veteran Los Angeles Times photographer Jason Armond was on hand to capture the landmark number of Valenzuela’s retirement:
Times staff writer Mike DiGovanna contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.