A young Valenzuela signed his first professional contract at 17 for $5,000. Here, he is pictured pitching at age 15.Link
Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela throws a shut out against Houston on April 9, 1981.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ken Hively / Los Angeles TimesLink
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.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rusty Kennedy / ASSOCIATED PRESSLink
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 CollectionLink
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 TimesLink
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 PressLink
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 TimesLink
Fernando Valenzuela shares a moment with longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda before the 1983 season.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles TimesLink
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.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jim Ruymen / UPILink
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 TimesLink
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 PressLink
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 PressLink
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 TimesLink
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 TimesLink
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 TimesLink
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