On This Day In Baseball History: April 9, 1981

Fernando Valenzuela

Dodgers 20-year old rookie Fernando Valenzuela makes his first Major League start shutting out the Astros 2-0 on 5 hits at Dodger Stadium. This would prove to be the beginning of “Fernandomania”. Valenzuela would go on to lead the NL in games started (25), complete games (11), shutouts (8), innings pitched (192 1/3), and strikeouts (180). Valenzuela’s ’81 season was so good that he also was awarded both the NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards.

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