LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers extend their congratulations to broadcaster and legendary left-hander Fernando Valenzuela, who raised his right hand and took the Oath of Allegiance at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony to become a U.S. citizen this morning in downtown L.A. Nearly 8,000 Angelenos hailing from more than 130 countries joined Valenzuela at the ceremony.
Valenzuela, a native of Etchohuaquila in Sonora, Mexico, now has the rights and privileges that come with U.S. citizenship such as the right to vote, serve on a jury, travel with a U.S. passport or become an elected official. Valenzuela, a L.A. cultural icon, first moved to the U.S. in 1979. His career in MLB, both as a player and broadcaster, spans more than three decades.
Valenzuela, number 34, celebrates a special anniversary this season, the 34th anniversary of his April 9, 1981 Opening Day start and the launch of Fernandomania. This year also marked the 25th anniversary of his no-hitter on June 29, 1990. Valenzuela made his Major League debut in 1980 and became an international sensation in 1981 when he played a significant role in the Dodgers' World Series championship. Valenzuela, now in his 13th season as a Dodger broadcaster, calls games on SportsNet LA in Spanish alongside Pepe Yñiguez.
For more information on USCIS, please visit http://www.uscis.gov/. Photo attachment: Valenzuela following this morning's USCIS naturalization ceremony courtesy of USCIS LA.