… It has been 45 years since the Dodgers made an exception to their policy of only retiring the jersey numbers of Hall of Famers, when in the throes of grief, they honored Jim Gilliam’s No. 19 after his sudden death during the 1978 World Series, nine days shy of his 50th birthday, In between, Gil Hodges became the 11th number retiree last summer to accompany his belated 2022 journey to Cooperstown. And now Fernando, whose prodigious workload early in his career forestalled him putting up the late-career numbers to make the Hall, will make it a dozen, joining Gilliam as an exception to the rule.
So many have hungered for this moment, and few would dispute its worthiness. On a practical level, the Dodgers haven’t given any player No. 34 since Valenzuela, so all that was missing was the official blessing.
At the same time, this opens a floodgate or two. However special the circumstances, no longer can the Dodgers hide from a clamor for other candidates. …
Comments are closed.