Fernando Valenzuela is a government spokesperson for citizenship now.

Fernando Valenzuela became a household name in Los Angeles many years before he became a United States citizen. When he did take a test and an oath and join about 8,000 others at a naturalization ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center last summer, Valenzuela did something he never could at Dodger Stadium: He blended in.

Now, Valenzuela is in the spotlight again. The retired pitcher and current Dodgers broadcaster joined Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and León Rodríguez, Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on a conference call Thursday to stress the importance of citizenship. Valenzuela is officially a “Presidential Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization,” the public face of a nationwide movement to encourage legal permanent residents, especially from Mexico, to apply for U.S. citizenship.

“I get to vote in my first presidential election,” Valenzuela said. “If anybody has a chance, an opportunity to be a citizen, why not? They can do it. It’s very important.”

The message is simple, but it may be powerful. Few names and faces are more recognizable in the local Mexican-American community than Valenzuela’s. On Friday, leaders from the civic and private sectors will convene in Los Angeles to further the goal of encouraging citizenship. Valenzuela’s involvement from this point forward isn’t clear, but for a day his message was.

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Don Drysdale, Pedro Martinez and Fernando Valenzuela among first Cal League Hall of Fame class.

Former Dodgers Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela and Pedro Martinez are among the 15 men in the first-ever California League Hall of Fame class.

Drysdale, Valenzuela and Martinez were all developed in the Dodgers’ organization and spent one year or less with the team’s Single-A California League affiliate.

The other inductees are are George Brett, Bruce Bochy, Jose Cruz Jr., Ken Griffey Jr., Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Sam Lynn, Xavier Nady, Vada Pinson, Gary Sheffield, Bob Talbot, and Omar Vizquel.

It’s an interesting concept, a Hall of Fame based on a class of people who largely spent one year or less in the league. The Cal League is celebrating 75 years of existence in 2016, so this is the tie-in. The league will host a Hall of Fame celebration on June 21 in Lake Elsinore prior to the California-Carolina League All-Star Game.

We might not mention it again until then.

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Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully, Fernando Valenzuela complete 2015 bobblehead lineup.

Clayton Kershaw bobblehead

Clayton Kershaw’s bobblehead graciously posed for this picture posted to the Dodgers’ official Twitter account.

The Dodgers filled out their 2015 bobblehead lineup Friday with four heavy hitters: Sandy Koufax on August 13 (vs. Reds, 7:10 p.m.), Justin Turner on September 1 (vs. Giants, 7:10 p.m.), Fernando Valenzuela on September 16 (vs. Rockies, 7:10 p.m.) and Vin Scully on September 23 (vs. Diamondbacks, 7:10 p.m.).

The Dodgers will offer 10 total bobblehead giveaways this year. The other six:

· May 12 (7:10 pm) vs. Miami Marlins; Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead

· May 23 (7:10 pm) vs. Colorado Rockies; Adrian Gonzalez Bobblehead

· June 4 (7:10 pm) vs. St. Louis Cardinals; Kenley Jansen Bobblehead

· July 6 (7:10 pm) vs. Philadelphia Phillies; Maury Wills Bobblehead

· July 11 (7:10 pm) vs. Milwaukee Brewers; Juan Uribe Bobblehead

· July 29 (7:10 pm) vs. Oakland Athletics; Yasiel Puig Bobblehead

The Dodgers also added two postgame movie nights to the 2015 calendar: The Lego Movie on June 20 (4:15 p.m. vs. San Francisco) and Back to the Future on August 15 (6:10 p.m. vs. Cincinnati).

Screenings are free with a game-day ticket. Fans sitting in the right field pavilion and left field pavilion will be invited down to the field postgame for a better viewing experience.

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Seventeen-year-old Dodgers starter Julio Urias: ‘I was not nervous at all.’

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Julio Urias‘ first appearance in a major-league game Saturday was practically over before it started.

The 17-year-old lefty threw 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning against the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch. He struck out Will Venable swinging after falling behind 3-0 — all on fastballs — then got Chris Denorfia to ground out and struck out Yonder Alonso swinging on a slider. Three up, three down, 14 pitches, nine strikes.

Urias threw all three of his pitches for strikes. His fastball was clocked in the 93-96 mph range; his curveball in the 75-80 range and his changeup in the 75-79 range.

“I felt really happy. I was under control and not nervous at all,” Urias said through an interpreter.

With his father, Carlos, and an uncle in attendance, Urias garnered as much attention as anyone from the announced crowd of 13,232.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Urias said. “I’m happy to be with the Dodgers.”

Sam Demel was originally listed as the starting pitcher for the game. Urias was informed Saturday morning that the plans had changed. That only made him more comfortable; Urias started each of the 18 games he pitched last season for Low-A Great Lakes. By starting instead of reliving he had a full bullpen session before the game to get loose.

Dodgers scout Mike Brito, who signed Urias as a 16-year-old in August 2012, said the plan calls for Urias to begin the regular season at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Based on the early returns, Urias might not need to be in the California League for long.

“I was not surprised,” Brito said. “He was very impressive.”

Brito, who also signed Fernando Valenzuela as a teenager, doesn’t think it will take long for Urias to be ready for the major leagues. Valenzuela debuted at 19 years old.

Urias said he’d like to be in the majors by the end of the season. The Dodgers have only suited up six 18-year-olds in their history and two 17-year-olds, none since Charlie Osgood in 1944. Urias turns 18 on August 12.

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Daily Distractions: Predicting the Dodgers’ agenda for the Winter Meetings.

Juan Uribe

Juan Uribe is the Dodgers’ first choice to play third base in 2014. (Associated Press photo)

Tuesday was such a busy day for free agent signings and trades around baseball, one website asked what many major league beat writers were probably thinking: “Who needs the Winter Meetings”?

For the Dodgers at least, next week could be a productive one. The Brian Wilson deal isn’t official yet, despite reports that he passed his physical. Assuming that contract has been signed by the time Dodgers officials land in Orlando, Florida, here’s what will top the to-do list:

1. A third baseman. General manager Ned Colletti is still hoping to bring back Juan Uribe, who is reportedly seeking a three-year contract. If the Dodgers are willing to go to a third year, there must still be a gap in dollar figures being exchanged by the two sides. Maybe they can overcome their differences in a week. Maybe not. If the Dodgers aren’t ready to commit to Hanley Ramirez as their third baseman for 2014, they might be best suited to resolve the position via trade if Uribe signs elsewhere. The free-agent crop at third base is really that thin.

2. A left-handed reliever. The Dodgers have a nice stable of right-handers among Kenley Jansen, Wilson, Chris Withrow, Brandon League and Jose Dominguez. Other than Paco Rodriguez, who petered out around the time of his 66th appearance in 2013, they don’t have a single established lefty reliever who will be healthy to start next season. (Scott Elbert underwent Tommy John surgery in June.) Re-signing J.P. Howell seems like the logical move, even if he is seeking a three-year contract. At age 30, Howell is a less risky investment than, say, Randy Choate, who was 37 when the Dodgers wouldn’t give him a three-year contract at this time last year. Javier Lopez raised the market value by signing a 3-year, $13 million deal to stay in San Francisco and Howell’s numbers are comparable. If the Dodgers can’t re-sign Howell, they may turn to a veteran such as Scott Downs on a shorter-term deal.

3. A bench. After losing Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto as free agents, the Dodgers lost arguably the two most proven quantities on their bench. Backup catcher Tim Federowicz, first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke, outfielder Mike Baxter and whatever-he’s-playing-these-days Dee Gordon are all in line for bench jobs. The Dodgers would like to bring in another infielder as insurance if Alexander Guerrero isn’t ready to be the everyday second baseman. They could also shake up the equation by accepting trade offer for Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford.

Some bullet points to tide you through the weekend:
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