Dodgers Announce “Fernando Valenzuela Fix” – What a Crock

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Folks ranging from the Dodgers’ beat reporters to anyone with a Twitter account were praising this “solution to the Fernando Valenzuela retired number problem”. I’m calling this a complete crock and an empty way of avoiding the true recognition that Fernando deserves from the organization – the retiring of Number 34.

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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8 thoughts on “Dodgers Announce “Fernando Valenzuela Fix” – What a Crock

  1. Oscar,

    I agree that Fernando more than deserves to have his number retired. However, if I am not mistaken, the Ring of Honor is only dedicated to prominent Dodger Lifers who have been honored with admission to to National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Hopefully, Fernando will soon be honored.

    1. The retiring of Dodger numbers is a long standing tradition. A team will such a vast history has to set stringent number retirement guidlines, otherwise they would run out of numbers.

  2. Item 1. Other than Jr. Gilliam, who passed away during the playoffs in 1978 at the age of 49, all of the retired numbers are Hall Of Famers. Item 2. Fernando never received more than 6% of the vote in HOF voting. His career numbers are just not HOF worthy. W 173 L 153 ERA 3.54 SO 2074. He had some good seasons, most of them as a Dodger. After his injury in 1988, he was not the same pitcher. His last 3 years as a Dodger he went 28-34. Very pedestrian. After he left the Dodgers after the 1990 season he pitched in the majors for 6 more years, only winning in double figures once when he was with the Padres in 96. He was a very good pitcher, not a great one. His rookie year was amazing and he helped lead them to the World Championship in a strike shortened season. He had one 20 win season, 1986 when he won 21 games and finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting. On the Dodger all time win list he is 9th with 141. The only people I hear saying he should have his number retired are fans. The fact is, no one has worn #34 since Fernando left the Dodgers. If you retire his number then you have to consider retiring numbers for other players with better numbers as Dodgers. You would also have to retire the number of Gil Hodges. Gil was the best 1st baseman of his era. He is top ten in most of the Dodger hitting stats lifetime. He should have been in the Hall a long time ago, so why do they let players wear his # 14 and yet no one has worn 34 since 1990? Makes no sense to me, neither does retiring Fernando’s number. Good is not great.

    1. At the risk of repeating myself, the Dodgers made the “HOF requirement” null and void when they retired Gilliam’s number. Precedent exists. Exclusivity is a false claim.
      This isn’t an argument for Fernando to be in National HOF. It’s about Dodgers status. Nor was it a stats-based argument.
      If it’s done for Fernando, no, it doesn’t have to be done for every other guy with marginal numbers. That’s what the legends thing is for. But in Fernando’s case, he deserves the retirement for what he meant and accomplished off the field, to the orgnization and MLB as a whole.
      Agree or not, thanks for the watch and the feedback, everybody.

      1. Hodges numbers are not marginal. He was the best of his time period. Fernando was not a career Dodger, Gilliam was. Fernando was on 2 world championship teams, and in reality did not contribute much to the 88 squad. Gilliam was on the 55, 59, 63, and 65 teams and contributed a lot, plus he was a respected coach and mentor to many players. Fernando did a lot in the community and that is great. He continues to be an inspiration to many kids. The HOF is not a requirement, it is the guideline, one that personally I agree with. He has a great career in the booth, but that fact remains that his number has not been worn for 38 seasons, so defacto it has basically been retired without being retired. Whether he deserves it or not is not relevant. I liked him, I liked Orel, but neither was HOF material, nor are they worthy of having their jerseys retired. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Many say they should retire Garvey’s number 6 also. But 10 different players have worn # 6 since he left.

  3. Thanks Micheal, for the clarification of the fact that Gilliam’s number was retired, even though he was not a HOF’r.

    1. When they first retired Jr’s number I was puzzled as to why. But you look back over his career and it is easy to understand how much he contributed to the organization. Close to 30 years in the organization, Rookie of the year, member of 7 pennant winning teams. He played multiple positions and was a virtual vacuum cleaner at 3rd and very good everywhere he played. He had the respect of all the players he coached and Davey Lopes said he was a huge inspiration.

  4. The Yankees have retired 22 numbers for 23 players. #8 was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. 1-10 are retired plus 15, 16, 20, 23, 32, 37, 42, 44, 46, 49, and 51. 42 is naturally for Jackie, but Mariano Rivera wore it too. Difference is the Yankees have retired the numbers of 8 who are not in the Hall. Those include, Mattingly, Billy Martin, Elston Howard , Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Ron Guidry, Andy Pettite, and Roger Maris. That’s the way the Yankees have chosen to do it. I think being in a teams hall of fame, or on a legends list is just as big an honor. The ring of fame, and uni retirement should be reserved for the greatest on the team. Look at how many HOF players the Dodgers have had who’s numbers are not retired. Including one of the better Dodger pitchers of all time, Dazzy Vance.

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