Former Los Angeles Dodgers ace Fernando Valenzuela headed a group of investors who purchased Cancun’s Quintana Roo Tigres, the team announced. The previous owners intended to remove the team from the Mexican Baseball League.
The Tigres were founded in 1955 in Mexico City, moved to Angelopolis in 2002, then moved to Cancun in 2007. The team won the league championship in 2015, which was their third in the past seven years.
Valenzuela’s involvement marks his first foray into ownership. The famed left-hander spent two seasons pitching in the Mexican League prior to signing with the Dodgers in July 1979, and after an eight-year layoff, joined the Aguilas de Mexicali for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
After throwing 17.2 scoreless innings over 10 relief appearances with the Dodgers in 1980, Valenzuela spawned the ‘Fernandomania’ phenomenon the following season.
He went 8-0 with a 0.50 ERA, 68 strikeouts and eight complete games through the first eight starts of his career. Valenzuela went on to finish the season 13-7 with a 2.48 ERA, 11 complete games and eight shoutouts.
Valenzuela was named the 1981 National League Rookie of the Year and also won a Silver Slugger Award that season. Valenzuela, Mike Piazza (1993) and Corey Seager (2016) are the only Dodgers to be named Rookie of the Year and take home a Silver Slugger in the same season.
In addition to the aforementioned awards, Valenzuela was a six-time All-Star during his tenure with the Dodgers, won the Cy Young Award (1981) and was part of the 1988 team that defeated the Oakland Athletics to win the World Series. Though, injury prevented Valenzuela from pitching in the postseason.
After 17 seasons in the Majors, Valenzuela has maintained ties to the Dodgers organization during his post-playing career by working as a Spanish-language broadcaster.