Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VALENZUELA, GOMEZ SELECTED TO LATIN BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

Former Los Angeles Dodgers star Fernando Valenzuela and former Mexican League second baseman Jose “Chile” Gomez have been selected to enter the Latin Baseball Hall of Fame. The two were among twelve members of the Class of 2011 announced at an October 11 press conference in New York’s Yankee Stadium. Mexican baseball legend Hector Espino was named to the inaugural Class of 2010.

Valenzuela was 10-12 for Yucatan of the Mexican League in 1979 as an 18-year-old and made his major league debut for the Dodgers one year later. He was an immediate sensation and won his first eight decisions in 1981, sparking “Fernandomania” across America as he finished the strike-shortened year with a 13-7 record and both the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards for the National League. Valenzuela was a six-time All-Star who finished his 17-year MLB career with a 173-153 record.

Gomez played for several teams in his 17-year Mexican League career, batting .278 in 904 games between 1937 and 1974. He also was a reserve infielder for the Phillies and Senators early in his career, hitting .226 in 200 games between 1935 and 1942.