When 20-Year-Old Rookie Fernando Valenzuela Captivated LA—and Major League Baseball

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In 1981, Fernando Valenzuela woke up from a nap and began pitching, and winning, sparking the phenomenon known as “Fernandomania” and almost singlehandedly repairing a fractured relationship between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the city’s Mexican American community. As an encore, the 20-year-old from rural Mexico helped pitch the Dodgers to their first World Series title in a generation.



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