The day Fernando Valenzuela became the first rookie to win the Cy Young

Until before the early 80’s, for a rookie to win the Cy Young award, it was unimaginable. Major League Baseball exuded a more stale pitching essence. It was the men of experience who at that time stood out as the dominant force.

All that erased Fernando Valenzuela. The Mexican who arrived at the big top to break paradigms.

November 11, 1981, the Los Angeles Dodgers from Sonora made history by becoming the first rookie pitcher to achieve top recognition. He earned the Cy Young award ahead of Tom Seaver of the Cincinnati Reds.

Valenzuela was also recognized as National League Rookie of the Year and took home a Silver Slugger. In the history of the Los Angeles ninth, only Miake Piazza, Corey Seager and Valenzuela have been awarded Rookie of the Year and Silver Slugger in the same campaign.

Although Valenzuela first appeared in MLB in 1980, it wasn’t until the following year that he became a phenomenon and tallied rookie innings.

In the campaign where Fernandomanía started, El Toro achieved eight consecutive victories, of which five were shut out. He fell one short of tying the record for Dave Ferris with the most earned starts for a pitcher in his freshman year.

During that stretch in which he pitched at Chavez Ravine and on the road, Valenzuela had a 0.50 ERA and 68 strikeouts. He finished the year with 13 wins and seven losses for a 2.48 ERA.

In a number that seems far from reality today, Fernando completed 11 games and led the pitching group with 180 strikeouts.

In 17 years on the big league mounds, Valenzuela won 173 games.

Fernando Valenzuela threw a no hitter in his MLB career.

History and baseball have a debt with Valenzuela as he has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame nor has his number been withdrawn by the Dodgers.

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The day Fernando Valenzuela became the first rookie to win the Cy Young