30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I love the 80's (Baseball Edition) #9 - Fernandomania!

On April 9th, 1981 Fernando Valenzuela started the first game of his career and pitched a five-hit shutout against the Houston Astros.  He went on to pitch seven more complete games in a row... four of which were shutouts.

1981 Dodgers Police #34

The numbers for his first eight starts are mind-blowing.  Eight complete games.  Five shutouts.  Sixty-eight strikeouts.  And only four earned runs allowed.  Fernandomania was officially born.

It just so happened to take place during my formative years when nothing was more important to me than baseball... which is why this San Diego Padres fan has no regrets admitting how much I admired Valenzuela's game.

1984 7-11 Slurpee Discs #W9

Years later he would eventually arrive in San Diego to play for my beloved Padres after stops in Anaheim, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

1995 Upper Deck #375


Unfortunately... his best years were a thing of the past and nothing more than great memories of my childhood.

Viva El Toro!  Thanks for the memories Fernando.  Happy Wednesday and sayonara!

10 comments:

  1. I remember him pitching against my Yankees in the 1981 World Series. He pitched a complete game, beating my Yankees in Game 3.

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    1. I completely forgot that the Dodgers beat the Yankees in 1981... Had to refresh my memory on baseball reference.

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  2. I will have to keep my eyes open for some "nando. Have you seen the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Fernando Nation? It really blew me away.

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    1. No. But I'll have to see if it's on Netflix. Thanks for the heads up.

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  3. I forgot he played for the Padres.

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    1. I know. Even though I'm a fan, I still think it's weird when I see him, Rickey, and Maddux as Padres on cards.

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  4. Ah Fernando. That's a great looking autograph.

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    1. Thanks. He doesn't have a lot of autographs to begin with and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have any featured as a Padre... so this was my only option. Picked it up off of COMC for $6.50.

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  5. My in-laws (future in-laws at the time), who cared nothing about baseball, were all caught up in Fernandomania. We all went to see him pitch in the Astrodome late in 1981 and he got beat. I don't think my in-laws have given baseball a thought since.

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    1. After looking at Fernando's amazing start in 1981... he definitely showed that he was human for the remainder of the season.

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