In case you hadn’t heard yet, the Dodgers are finally retiring the #34 of the legendary Fernando Valenzuela, making the announcement today at FanFest.
They’ll also hold a three-day celebration of Fernandomania, starting on August 11 and running through the weekend.
Obviously this comes as a welcome announcement for fans who have clamored for this move to be made for years now. And it’s also special to people associated with the team like Jaime Jarrin and Julio Urias.
“I was hoping that they would do it,” said Jarrín, who is now a club ambassador and has his own plaque in the team’s Ring of Honor. “I don’t know why they waited. They could have done it several years ago.”
“It’s fantastic,” Jarrín said. “He left the Dodgers [as a player] almost 40 years ago, and still now … the people love him. It’s unbelievable.”
“It makes us very proud to see a fellow countryman be able to achieve this great success,” Urías said in Spanish.
Even Max Muncy commented on how quickly players learn of Fernando’s importance when they become Dodgers.
Echoed Muncy: “When you start playing for the Dodgers, that’s one of the first things you learn, just the impact Fernando had.”
Besides Jarrin himself echoing that the move was long overdue, there’s bunch of other writing that covers why many felt that way given Fernando’s lasting impact, including at the Los Angeles Times, Dodger Insider, and True Blue LA. Additionally, the LAT has a 12-part feature on Fernandomania that’s worth checking out if it was before your time (like it was for me).