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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1985 Donruss Tribute: Fernando-mania!

Fernando Valenzuela was Dwight Gooden before Dr. K was himself. Fernando-mania swept the
nation in 1981. I was only 5 so I had to wait for Doc to go nutty over baseball. If I was a little older I might have become a Dodger fan.

Valenzuela was a phenom in 1981. He won the ROY and Cy Young and finished 5th in MVP voting. He had an advantage though. As this 1985 Donruss card proves, Fernando could move the ball with his eyes!

Eight shutouts! Wow. Nobody gets that many in a year. Brandon Webb led the league last year with 3. Dontrelle is the last pitcher to get 5 in a year. If D-Train could move the ball with his eyes in 2005, he certainly cannot do it anymore .

Valenzuela won the Silver Slugger award in 1981 and 1983. In '83, he only batted .183. Maybe he should not have batted with the silver bat he won in '81.

After starting his career with 6 straight All-Star game appearances, Valenzuela cooled off and became a pretty average pitcher for a lot of years. He did pitch a no-hitter in 1990 on the same day Dave Stewart threw one. Two no-hitters in the same day only happened one other day, April 22. 1898.

Fernando pitched and played some first base in the Mexican League in 2005 and 2006. He also coached Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. I think he made the USA lose with his eyes!

Next Up: Double the Hats


Unknown said...

I was at Summer Ventures at UNC-Wilmington when Fernando and Dave Stewart threw their no-hitters on the same day.

Where were you?

Anonymous said...

He was amazing for his first few years in the league. It seems that some people actually forget what a good pitcher he was.