Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MEXICALI TO RETIRE VALENZUELA’S NUMBER 34

The Mexicali Aguilas will hold a special ceremony tonight to retire the number 34 worn by Mexican pitching legend Fernando Valenzuela, who wrapped up his storied career with the Aguilas five years ago.

The evening, which kicks off the second half of Mexican Pacific League play for the Aguilas and the visiting Culiacan Tomateros, will resemble a typical Inauguration Day event with an opening ceremony involving the Second Region Military unit honoring the Mexican flag, the national anthem played in two parts (once sung with English lyrics and once sung in Spanish), and finally a ceremony honoring the 50-year-old Valenzuela, who will be on hand for the festivities. After the game there will be fireworks and music. Spectators are being encouraged to dress up in costumes emblematic of the 1910 Revolution and prizes will be awarded to those with the best costumes.

Valenzuela, who will enter the Latin Baseball Hall of Fame next year, will be the sixth man to have his number retired in Mexicali, joining Mario Hernandez Maytorena (3), Ben “Cananea” Reyes (10), Ernesto Escarrega (14), Hector Espino (21) and Isidro Marquez (33). Efforts are being made to have Valenzuela’s number retired league-wide, a la Jackie Robinson in Major League Baseball.