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Fernando Valenzuela's iconic number 34 to be retired by Dodgers

One of the great legends of Los Angeles Dodgers is the Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, who in 1981 was a key player in winning the World Series against the New York Yankees thanks to the famous screwball that came out of his left arm. Now his number, the iconic 34, will no longer be worn by a player of the Los Angeles team.

'El Toro' to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Saturday that the number 34 that Valenzuela wore on his jersey during his successful career with the team will be retired as part of a three-day celebration during the summer.

'El Toro de Etchohuaquila', as Valenzuela was known, will also be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at a ceremony on August 11. The celebration will be extended on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13, during the series against the Colorado Rockies.

"Being part of a group that includes so many legends is a great honor," Valenzuela said in a statement. "But also for the fans, the support they have given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them. I'm happy for all the fans and all the people who have followed my career. They're going to be very excited to know that my number 34 is going to be retired."

He made history for 17 years in the Major Leagues

Fernando, originally from the small town of Etchohuaquila, in the Mexican state of Sonora, made his debut at the age of 19 in 1980 and accumulated 17 scoreless innings as a reliever.

The following year, the stellar Jerry Reuss was injured and could not be the Dodgers' starting pitcher in the opening game. Valenzuela took his place and the rest was history.

Valenzuela was the first player in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year in the same season. During that season, the 1981 season, he finished with a 2.48 ERA in 192 innings.

The Dodgers would go on to win the World Series that fall over the Yankees, with Valenzuela sporting a 2.21 ERA in five playoff starts.

Until 1986, Fernando had a Hall of Fame career, with six consecutive All-Star Games and finishing second for the Cy Young in 1986. Then the decline began, he left the Dodgers and played for the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles.

He was a six-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. In other words, he had the greatest impact a player can have without qualifying for the Hall of Fame.

The Dodgers have retired only 11 numbers in their history: Pee Wee Reese (1), Tommy Lasorda (2), Duke Snider (4), Gil Hodges (14), Jim Gilliam (19), Don Sutton (20), Walter Alston (24), Sandy Koufax (32), Roy Campanella (39), Jackie Robinson (42) and Don Drysdale (53).

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