"That was great for the Dodgers," said Valenzuela, who shut down the Cardinals on June 29, 1990. "Good memories from a couple years ago when I had the opportunity to do it. Last night I was thinking just do something, not a hit. I was excited. I think the fans enjoy that. More good memories."
The Dodgers won Valenzuela's no-hitter at Dodger Stadium, 6-0, on the same day that Valenzuela's former teammate, Dave Stewart, threw a no-hitter for the Oakland A's.
Now a Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers, Valenzuela also relishes the chance to promote the game in his homeland. In addition to the first-pitch ceremonies, Valenzuela participated in several functions locally since the Dodgers arrived.
"Baseball is my life," he said. "It's what I do. I like to be part of baseball with the Dodgers, it's a good chance for me because I love the game."
The 57-year-old Valenzuela, treated like an icon ever since Fernandomania swept over the game nearly four decades ago, last pitched in the Major Leagues in 1997.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.