This Day in Dodger History -- Feb. 8, 1982

"Fernandomania" reaches a fever pitch after Dodger rookie Fernando Valenzuela notches his seventh straight victory to open the season, shutting out the New York Mets by a score of 1-0 before 38,848 fans at Shea Stadium.

The left-hander from Mexico scatters seven hits, strikes out a season-high 11 batters and walks five in notching his fifth shutout and seventh complete game. Valenzuela also lowers his ERA on the season to 0.29 and moves within one victory of Dave Ferris' major league record for most consecutive starts won by a rookie set 36 years previously.

Valenzuela again showed that he was toughest when he was in trouble, turning back potential New York rallies in each of the first three innings.

"He's spoiled us," shortstop Bill Russell said after Valenzuela's seventh win. "When he gets in trouble, for some reason you just know something's going to happen and they're not going to score. You just expect it."

The media apparently was also starting to become spoiled. One reporter asked Valenzuela if he could go through the rest of his career without losing a game.

Valenzuela, through his interpreter, Dodger Spanish broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, must have wondered about both the question and the quentioner but answered seriously. "He says it is very difficult, but not impossible," Jarrin reported.

Valenzuela went on to post a 13-7 record in 1981 and became the first player to win the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards in the same season.

May 8, 1896-- Following a 9-5 Giants victory over the Dodgers at Eastern Park, the Sporting Life calls New York "the hottest baseball locality on earth" with two clubs playing in the same league.

May 8, 1942-- The Dodgers dump the Giants 7-6 on first baseman Dolph Camilli's home run in an Army-Navy Relief game in Ebbets field that makes $60,661 for the fund.

May 8, 1959-- In the continuing battle for Chavez Ravine, deputies evict the Manuel Arechiga family and then bulldoze their house the city had condemned and demanded they vacate. There is a public furor but it is then revealed by a Los Angeles paper that the seemingly homeless family owned at least seven other houses they were renting out.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories