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A young Valenzuela signed his first professional contract at 17 for $5,000. Here, he is pictured pitching at age 15.

Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela throws a shut out against Houston on April 9, 1981.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela blows bubbles as he passes the time in the dugout during the rain delay before Game 5 of the NLCS against the Montreal Expos on Oct. 18, 1981.


Valenzuela salutes the crowd after pitching a three-hit shutout for his eighth consecutive victory to start the 1981 season.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rob Brown / Herald Examiner Collection

Dodgers third baseman Ron Cey and Valenzuela greet each other after the last out of the Dodgers' 5-4 victory over the Yankees in Game 3 of the 1981 World Series at Dodger Stadium. ValenzuelaÕs win gave the Dodgers a 2-1 series lead.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela raises a magnum of champagne as the Dodgers toast their NL West division series playoff victory against the Houston Astros in a clubhouse celebration on Oct. 12, 1981.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Valenzuela races with Mike Scioscia, who spoke Spanish and was able to communicate effectively with Valenzuela on the mound.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times

Fernando Valenzuela shares a moment with longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda before the 1983 season.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela waves to the crowd the day after pitching the only no-hitter of his career, on June 29, 1990, against the St. Louis Cardinals.


Valenzuela pitched for the Angels during the 1991 season after he was released by the Dodgers before the season began.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Kelsen / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela returns to Dodger Stadium as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, but he loses to Orel Hershiser and the Dodgers, 3-1, before 54,167 at Dodger Stadium on July 3, 1994.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Valenzuela is doused with beer by teammate Rickey Henderson, right, after the San Diego Padres' 2-0 victory over the Dodgers on Sept. 29, 1996, gave them the NL West division title.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Pedro Guerrero, left, Fernando Valenzuela, center, and Steve Garvey participate in a pre-game celebration at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 16, 2006 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1981 World Series title team.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela greets other former Dodgers who were brought out during a pregame ceremony before the home opener against the San Francisco Giants in 2008.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela is now a color commentator for the Dodgers on a Spanish-language radio station in Los Angeles. Here he sits in the press box with fellow broadcaster Pepe Yniguez.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Valenzuela at Dodger Stadium on March 24. It's the 30th anniversary of Fernandomania, which spawned a whole new generation of Dodgers fans.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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1 Comment

  1. August 14, 2011, 5:06 pm

    My mother is visiting us from Corpus Christie and was remembering this player with such admiration. She is not computer literate and was amazed we were able to read a little of Mr. Valenzuela's baseball history and even a picture of him!! Can you give us the latest on him and his life.


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