Wednesday, December 31, 2008
1991 Score, Fernando Valenzuela
#449 Fernando Valenzuela
I got this card signed through the mail sometime in the '90s. I have no idea when I got it. This card came out in '91, right before he got released by the Dodgers. He only made two appearances with the Angels that year, so I probably didn't get it signed in 1991. It was most likely signed in 1993 while he pitched for the Orioles.
No matter when he signed it, I was pretty happy when I got it. Sure, his early success didn't last his whole career. But, he is the only pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and Rookie of the Year in the same season. That counts for something. Plus, he made six straight All-Star teams before he started to have arm problems.
Unfortunately, I was only two years old when Fernandomania was taking place. That is too bad. I can't think of anything like that that I have seen since. I guess the home run chase in 1998 might have been similar, but I don't know. The chase certainly wasn't a rookie pitcher, signed from the Mexican League, dominating a league.
I have heard that Fernando still signs fan mail from his home in Los Angeles.
I mentioned yesterday that I was going to have a contest to start off the New Year. Well, because of the Winter Classic and college football, the contest will start the second day of the New Year.