Photo: JULIO CESAR AGUILAR / AFP / Getty Images
After more than two decades of the retirement of the iconic Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, the Los Angeles Dodgers has decided to pay tribute to his career and his time with the team, retiring his mythical number 34, an honor that the former player himself affirms, has taken him by surprise while maintaining that this number is not his.
¨For me it was a surprise first and then it was joy, but not only for me but for all the people because they always asked me ´when are they going to withdraw your number?´ and I told them that it was not in my hands. But now I think people are going to really enjoy that.expressed ´El Toro´ in an exclusive interview with journalist Ricardo López Juárez from La Opinión.
In this sense, Valenzuela recalled that when the president of the Dodgers, Stan Kasten, told him about the tribute, he considered that it was not his number but that it belonged to the organization and the president replied that now it will be to remember him.
“Finally that moment comes. When the team president told me “I have news for you, your number, 34”, is going to be withdrawn, and I tell him that I don’t consider it to be my numberI think it’s from the team, but he told me “well, now no one is going to be able to use it, so it’s your number.”
“There have already been reactions (from the fans) and it’s good because the Dodgers fans are always there game after game and it’s nice that they have something different and players they look up to. That is the maximum, it is the retirement of the number 34 but it is for all of them, it is the retirement so that he is there with other great players¨, he added.
Fernando Valenzuela retired from the MLB in 1997 and the fact that it was decided to retire his number more than 20 years later is something that draws attention and makes us wonder why wait so long? but the Mexican understands that the Californian team has parameters for it.
“The Dodgers can’t retire a number if you’re not in Cooperstown (Baseball Hall of Fame), that’s a team rule, but In my case, I think there were meetings and they are going to make an exception¨, sentenced.
The retirement ceremony of the mythical number 34 of Fernando Valenzuela will take place on August 11 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angelesin an act that is expected to have great attendance from the Mexican public to be part of this tribute to one of its greatest idols.
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