LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA • TODAY – NOVEMBER 11TH – IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Fernandomania continued into the post-season on this date in 1981. Los Angeles Dodger phenom pitcher Fernando Valenzuela won the National League Cy Young award as the league’s best pitcher. He was the first rookie to win the award.
Valenzuela displayed excellent composure, enthusiasm and ability though he was only 20-years old.
Valenzuela could hit too. He hit .250 with 7 RBI in his rookie year. His career batting average was .200 with 10 home runs and 84 RBI.
Valenzuela finished the ’81 season with a 13 – 7 won-loss record and a 2.48 ERA (earned run average). He beat out established stars Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan for the Cy Young award. Valenzuela also won the National League Rookie-of-the-year award.
Valenzuela could hit too. He hit .250 with 7 RBI in his rookie year. His career batter average was .200 with 10 home runs and 84 RBI .
Fernandomania lasted 17 years. During that time Valenzuela won 173 games and lost 153. That’s today – November 11th – in baseball history.
“Fairy Tale Ending to Fairy Tale season,” by Mike Littwin, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1981
1981 Post-season awards