Fernando Valenzuela threw a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 29, 1990, fulfilling a prediction of sorts in the process.
Roughly 30 minutes prior to first pitch at Dodger Stadium, Oakland Athletics right-hander Dave Stewart completed a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays. Valenzuela, that evening’s starter for Dodgers, wondered aloud if there’d be a second on the night.
Sure enough, Valenzuela no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals in a 6-0 victory. It marked the only time in baseball history two no-hitters were thrown on the same day. Valenzuela entered the outing having suffered a loss in three of his last six games.
He threw 119 pitches, issued three walks and finished with seven strikeouts. It spawned one of Vin Scully’s more infamous calls, “If you have a sombrero, throw it to the sky!”
The no-hitter was the Dodgers’ first since Jerry Reuss had one against the San Francisco Giants on June 27, 1980, and just their second since 1970.
The no-hitter was the only of Valenzuela’s career. He finished the 1990 season 13-13 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.
Over 11 seasons with the Dodgers, Valenzuela went 141-116 with a 3.31 ERA. He was a six-time All-Star, won the 1981 National League Rookie of the Year Award, and also the NL Cy Young and a Silver Slugger that same season.
Valenzuela became the first pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in the same year. Valenzuela retired from baseball in 1997 and is now in a 19th season as a Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers.
He’s also part of an ownership group that purchased the Quintana Roo Tigres to keep the team in the Mexican League.
In November 2018, Valenzuela was among the players named to the inaugural “Legends of Dodger Baseball” class. He was recognized along with Don Newcombe and Steve Garvey. Each of the players were honored during an on-field ceremony and via a plaque installed on the top deck at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers celebrate Fernando Valenzuela
When the center field plaza renovation was completed for the 2021 season, the Dodgers further recognized Valenzuela’s importance to the franchise and community with a mural and display to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ‘Fernandomania.’
The Dodgers have since announced plans to retire No. 34 for Valenzuela during a celebratory weekend in August of the 2023 season.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and more!