‘Fernando Nation’ Revisits The Legend Of Fernando Valenzuela

October 27th, 2010 - 6:28 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
fernandoOct 27, (THAINDIAN NEWS) In what was a nostalgic ride for all those who grew up in the 80s under the shadow of ‘Fernandomania’, ESPN showcased the rise to fame of the Dodgers star Fernando Valenzuela in the ‘30 for 30′ series that was aired on Tuesday. The documentary was directed by Cruz Angeles who is a Brooklyn based director and it featured some interesting clips from the matches that transformed Fernando Valenzuela into a hero.

Fernando Valenzuela broke into the baseball scene in 1981 when he bagged the best rookie, best pitcher and the Cy Young Award. He was also instrumental in bringing the Hispanic community into the game. Considered one of the greatest pitchers of all times for the Dodgers, Fernando Valenzuela also faced tough challenges for his origins. Among some of the criticism and discrimination he faced for his ethnicity, one newspaper called him ‘Mexico’s most documented immigrant’. The documentary named ‘Fernando Nation’ also showcased the hype around the pitcher that became known as ‘Fernandomania’.

Many experts feel that apart from having one of the deadliest screwballs and the talent for immaculate pitching, Fernando Valenzuela was an icon for the Latin American community especially for his struggle against all odds. He led the Dodgers to their first World Series win in 16 years in 1981 against the New York Yankees. He was also known for his unique pitching style that involved him looking skywards just before the throw. Director Cruz Angeles revealed in an interview after the premiere of ‘Fernando Nation’ on Tuesday that it was a story that he wanted to tell for a long time. He explained that the negativity shown in the documentary helps to understand the cultural impact that the player had on the fans.

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