The Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they will retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 during the 2023 season. Former Dodgers’ star Justin Turner, who signed with the Boston Red Sox during the offseason, shared a brutally honest reaction to the Valenzuela news, per Matthew Moreno.
“Throw my sombrero to the sky for Fernando. If I was wearing one, I’d toss it up right now,” Turner said. The former Dodgers’ third baseman also called the decision to retire Valenzuela’s number “long overdue.”
Fernando Valenzuela had one of the most impressive peaks of any pitcher in Dodgers’ history. He was known for his electric screwball and exciting mound presence. The left-hander became a fan favorite in Los Angeles.
Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias also revealed his admiration for Valenzuela.
“It’s always been an incredible blessing,” Urias said during Dodgers FanFest, per Doug McKain.”It always feels like I’m pitching in Mexico. To follow someone like Fernando, it’s such a blessing to be here.”
The Dodgers made the official announcement during their FanFest. It led to excitement around the Los Angeles community. The team plans to hold a ceremony during the summer to honor Fernando Valenzuela’s legacy while retiring his No. 34.
This will be an interesting ball club to follow throughout the 2023 campaign. They still feature no shortage of talent despite losing players like Justin Turner. Although, Los Angeles still has uncertainty on the roster as well. In the end, the Dodgers still expect to win the division and make a deep postseason run.
And perhaps the thought of winning the World Series in honor of Valenzuela will provide added motivation.