The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the number 34 in honor of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, the team announced Saturday.
The number will be retired during a special three-day celebration Aug. 11-13, when the Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. The festivities will kick off with a Ring of Honor ceremony on Friday night, followed by a collector’s edition bobblehead on Saturday night and a replica Valenzuela 1981 World Series ring on Sunday.
Other elements planned for the weekend will be announced in the coming weeks.
Valenzuela was a member of two World Series championship teams, won the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards, was selected to six All-Star teams and even won two Silver Slugger Awards (1981, 1983) during his 11 years with the Dodgers from 1980-90.
“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans — the support they’ve 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 No. 34 is being retired.”
Valenzuela’s number 34 will take its place among those previously displayed on the left field club level: Pee Wee Reese’s number 1, Tommy Lasorda’s number 2, Duke Snider’s number 4, Gil Hodges’ number 14, Jim Gilliam’s number 19, Don Sutton’s number 20, Walter Alston’s number 24, Sandy Koufax’s number 32, Roy Campanella’s number 39, Jackie Robinson’s number 42 and Don Drysdale’s number 53.
“I am incredibly happy that number 34 for the Los Angeles Dodgers will be retired forever,” said Stan Kasten, Dodgers president & CEO. “The one question that I continuously get asked, more than anything else, is about retiring Fernando Valenzuela’s number. The citywide call by our fans to honor him is truly remarkable. What he accomplished during his playing career, not only on the field but in the community, is extraordinary. He truly lit up the imaginations of baseball fans everywhere. It’s hard to envision a player having a greater impact on a fan base then the one Fernando has had.”
This is only the second time the Dodgers have retired the number of a non-Hall of Famer. The other was for Gilliam, the longtime Dodgers infielder, outfielder and coach whose No. 19 was retired on Oct. 10, 1978, before Game 1 of the World Series, two days after he died from a massive brain hemorrhage at the age of 49.