In 1981, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela uncorked a full-fledged revolution. Baseball, Los Angeles, Latinos, sports — none have been the same since Valenzuela dominated batters four decades ago. He helped to make the national pastime international, bridged racial divides in L.A. and gave Latinos a hero everyone could embrace. Even if you don’t like sports, even if you’re a Yankees fan or — heaven forbid — root for the San Francisco Giants, you gotta know about the legacy of Valenzuela’s magical year from so long ago. It influenced many levels of American society in ways that still resonate today. And you gotta call it by this name: Fernandomania. Our guest is L.A. Times sports columnist Dylan Hernandez.
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