Sunday, June 28, 2015

1990: Year of the No-Hitter - June 29th Fernadomania!

If 1990 was the year of the No-Hitter, June 29th of that year was the Day of the No-Hitter.

After Dave Stewart's East Coast No-Hitter, Fernando Valenzuela followed up with one for the fans in the Pacific Time Zone. He turned the trick in a 6-0 victory over the St Louis Cardinals.

1991 Score #703 No-Hit Club Fernando Valenzuela

Fernando Valenzuela peaked early, He won Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards as well as a World Series ring all at the age of 20 in 1981. He made every all-star team between 1981 and 1986.

In 1990 Fernando was only 29 but his best years were behind him. He was struggling through a mediocre season when he tossed his gem on June 29th.

There were a couple of close calls in the No-Hitter which is featured here. With one out in the 9th Pedro Guerrero hit a grounder back at Valenzuela which the pitcher just got the tip of his glove on. It is hard to tell in the video, The Dodgers were playing for the double play, but had Valenzuela not tipped the ball it may have sped pass the two middle infielders. As it worked out the ball glanced off Valenzuela's glove and was fielded by second baseman Juan Samuel who started the game ending double play that was completed by future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray. 

 1991 Score #703 No-Hit Club Fernando Valenzuela (b-side)

Valenzueala pitched to three over the minimum - three walks and an error, one of the walks was erased on the game ending double play mentioned above. 

The obstacles in the Cardinals lineup included Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (batting 8th!!!), One time MVP and Batting Champ Willie McGee and the speedy Vince Coleman. McGee worked one of the three Cardinal walks, three of Valenzuela's seven strikeouts came against Coleman.

The Dodgers defense included the aforementioned Eddie Murray and Juan Samuel as well as Future Angels Manager Mike Scioscia who made up the other half of the No-Hit Battery.

One time Philies second baseman Juan Samuel hit one of two homers for the Dodgers - the other was by Hubie Brooks.  

It was the first of two no-hitters caught by Scioscia, the latter was authored by Kevin Gross who like Samuel debuted with the Phillies.  

Within the game box on the Score Card I like how they triple-apostrophe-d Mike Sharperson's name.

2001 07 29 Fernando Valenzuela Bobblehead

In 2001 The Dodgers honored Fernando Valenzuela with one of the first three Bobbleheads ever given away at Dodgers Stadium.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers lost the game 3-2 to the Rockies on a 9th inning RBI single by Alex Ochoa.

The bobblehead shown above is part of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Viva Baseball exhibit which celebrates the Heritage of Latin American players. 

Sources and Links
1990: Year of the No-Hitter index
LA Times
Dodger Bobble
Baseball Hall of Fame

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