How Fernando Valenzuela’s 1981 Opening Day happened | Fernandomania @ 40 Ep. 5
Fernando Valenzuela broke camp in 1981 as the Dodgers No. 3 starter. But when Opening Day pitcher Jerry Reuss came down with a calf strain, manager Tommy Lasorda tapped the unheralded 20-year-old rookie to replace him. Valenzuela proceeded to throw a 4-hit shutout over the Houston Astros. It was not only the first win of an amazing 8-0 start for the pitcher - it was ground zero for Fernandomania.