The Dodgers got this one right. On Saturday at Dodger FanFest, in front of a crowd of thousands of Dodger fans, Team President Stan Kasten got on stage for a special announcement. To help with the announcement, he called Dodger legend Fernando Valenzuela to the stage.
After a little back and forth, sharing some history about why Valenzuela’s jersey has not yet been retired, Kasten made the announcement that Dodgers fans have wanted to hear for decades: The team is retiring Valenzuela’s No. 34 jersey.
The ceremony will be a weekend-long celebration, and will take place in August. We will send out more information regarding the long-awaited jersey retirement when we get it, but this is a very special day for Dodgers fans.
“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said per the Dodgers press release. “But also for the fans — the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them. I’m happy for all the fans and all the people who have followed my career. They’re going to be very excited to know that my No. 34 is being retired.”
Here’s what Kasten said, per the press release:
“I am incredibly happy that number 34 for the Los Angeles Dodgers will be retired forever,” Kasten said. “The one question that I continuously get asked, more than anything else, is about retiring Fernando Valenzuela’s number. The citywide call by our fans to honor him is truly remarkable. What he accomplished during his playing career, not only on the field but in the community, is extraordinary. He truly lit up the imaginations of baseball fans everywhere. It’s hard to envision a player having a greater impact on a fan base than the one Fernando has had.”
Again, we’ll provide more information on the dates of the retirement when we get them. But for now, Dodger fans can celebrate, knowing no one will ever wear No. 34 again for the Dodgers.