Fernando Valenzuela will be inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame — el Pabellón de la Fama del Caribe — on Sunday in Hermosillo, Mexico, at Universidad Sonora, Centro de Los Artes.
The current Dodgers broadcaster and retired pitcher was born about 200 miles south of Hermosillo, then began his career in Sonora playing for Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific League at age 16. He also played for Naranjeros de Hermosillo and Águilas de Mexicali in the LMP and played in the Caribbean Series. Valenzuela’s induction will recognize his career in the LMP and in Major League Baseball.
The 52-year-old is scheduled to travel to Hermosillo Friday to partake in the opening ceremonies of Estadio Sonora, the brand-new stadium that will host the Caribbean Series. Valenzuela will throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 7 p.m. game between Yaquis de Obregón and Criollos de Caguas.
What has three heads, six blue stirrups and always smiles?
Find out for yourself on April 15, when the Dodgers give away a Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella statue to the first 40,000 fans at that night’s game against the San Diego Padres. April 15, always a big day at Dodger Stadium, marks the 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking MLB’s color barrier.
It’s also a 2-star game under the Dodgers’ new tiered pricing plan. There are no bobblehead giveaways on 2- or 1-star games this season, so this might be as close as it gets.
Jackie Robinson was born 94 years ago today in Cairo, Georgia. To commemorate the occasion, Google baked a birthday cake with 94 candles on top made Robinson the “doodle” on its home page today.
We’ll be writing a lot about Robinson this year. The 66th anniversary of his major-league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers is April 15. Three days earlier is the planned release date of “42,” the biopic starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. You can view the trailer here.
An often-overlooked local landmark is the plaque commemorating Robinson’s boyhood home at 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena. (There’s no home there now, just a plaque, as the home was torn down in the early 1970s.) Feel free to leave a present there today. Or a doodle.
We think this is an attempt to sculpt Hanley Ramirez’s “I see you” pose. This is the first bobblehead that will be given away at a Dodgers game this season, on April 30 against the Colorado Rockies.
This image was released by the Dodgers on the same day it was announced that Ramirez will play for Leones del Escogido, a team based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean Series, the annual championship of the four winter leagues. Ramirez played for the D.R.-based Licey Tigers during the Dominican Winter League’s regular season. The series will be played in Hermosillo, Mexico from Feb. 1-7.
Ramirez also played in the 2006 Caribbean Series for the eventual champion, Valencia & Maracay.
The next two months will be busy for Ramirez. Dodgers position players report to spring training on Feb. 15. He’s then expected to play in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic, whose first game is March 7. While the Dodgers hope that this will help Ramirez hone his defense at shortstop, he must also guard against fatigue during the 162-game regular season that follows.
It’s something to keep an eye on, as Bobble-Hanley demonstrates above.