Written by Dave Howard
Why haven’t the Dodgers given the proper respect to Fernando Valenzuela?
The Dodgers aren’t so big on retiring numbers. I don’t why. To date only ten numbers have been retired.
#1 Pee- Wee Reese
#2 Tommy Lasorda
#4 Duke Snider
#19 Jim Gillian
#20 Don Sutton
#24 Walter Alston
# 32 Sandy Koufax
#39 Roy Campenella
#42 Jackie Robinson
#53 Don Drysdale
Seven of these guys played for Brooklyn Dodgers. WHAT THE HELL? Are the Dodgers not proud of Los Angeles? I have a buddy who is a Yankee fan. He boasts about how the Yankees have the most retired numbers. There are no rules for retiring a number. Either a club does it or they don’t. So, the Yankees have retired more numbers than anyone else.
Whoop-A-Dee- DOO, they stole most of those guys from other teams.
Fernando Valenzuela came up in the Free Agency Era. He could have gone anywhere he wanted. He chose to play with the Dodgers and now broadcasts from Chavez Ravine for the Latino market. They show a video clip of him on the Jumbo-Tron and the crowd goes wild as he waves from the broadcast booth. He is Ravine Royalty.
From what I can tell, 34 is the most popular Dodger in terms of Jersey and T-Shirt sales. Of the retired numbers, I only regularly see Robinson, Koufax and, occasionally, a Drysdale. Fernando is everywhere. Fernando-Mania wasn’t some acid wash fad in the 80’s, it is still alive and well. He is a patron saint in the cheap seats, where I sit. But the Dodgers don’t pay much attention to the real fans. For example, the Blue Crew recently went on a PR blitz boasting of $6 beers to help folks out during this economic downturn.
These were only available in the pricey seats. The rest of us pay $8-12, same as every other year,
Look, the Dodgers have had owners who aren’t even from L.A. First, there were the Aussie’s at FOX (who, on their News Channel, aren’t so fond of immigrants south of the border) and now the guys from BOSTON. Fernando is from Mexico but bled blue into the city. He has become a symbol of Los Angeles and is one of the city’s favorite adopted sons. Do they not get that?
When Manny came to LA he requested #34, the Dodgers told him they were saving that.
#34 wasn’t good enough for Manny. It belongs to us.
What better time than now? Los Angeles has been hit hard by the recession with some unemployment estimates reaching 20% (if you incluide freelancers).
Give us something to cheer about.
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