Leave it to Obama to give an eyeball-breathing, screwball-loving LEFTY a job! Liberal bias, man. Liberal bias! He must be overcome by some insidious, euphoria-inducing disease like . . . Fernandomania!
President Obama launched the “Stand Stronger” Citizenship Awareness Campaign and appointed the Dodger broadcaster and legendary lefty a Presidential Ambassador for Citizenship and Naturalization. In this role, Valenzuela will work with the White House and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in promoting the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship among eligible lawful permanent residents and help the “Stand Stronger” Campaign break down the barriers for eligible immigrants and refugees to become U.S. citizens.
Valenzuela just became a U.S. citizen himself, by the way. He signed with the Dodgers in July of 1979 and has lived in the United States ever since, spending the past 36 years as a ballplayer and a Dodgers broadcaster.
And if you’re a guy of a certain age — say, 42 — he was one of the first big time pitchers who you thought of as being one of YOUR guys. Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer and all of those huge names of the 60s and 70 were all big deals to us, of course, but they all started pitching before we were born. They were our dad’s or older brothers’ pitchers. For me, Fernando was the first big all-star type starter who seemed 100% modern to me when he made his splash, probably because I vividly remember him making his splash. Everything before him belonged to people older than me. Everything after him was mine.