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Exhibition Baseball Americana

“Making His Way in the U.S.A.,” cover story on Fernando Valenzuela (b. 1960). Sports Illustrated magazine, July 8, 1985. General Collections, Library of Congress (111.00.00)


“Fernandomania” swept through Southern California and the nation’s Mexican American population in 1981, when twenty-year-old Fernando Valenzuela, tossing screwballs for the Los Angeles Dodgers, started the season 8-0. He finished it as a World Series-ring-wearing Rookie of the Year and Cy Young award winner. Credited with expanding the Dodgers’ fan base that is now more than forty percent Hispanic, Valenzuela is a commentator for Spanish-language radio sportscasts. A native of Etchohuaquila, Mexico, he became a United States citizen in 2015.