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Valenzuela to be hailed as 'Treasure of LA'

Valenzuela to be hailed as 'Treasure of LA'

Dodgers pitching legend and current Spanish-language broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela will be honored Thursday at the Central City Association of Los Angeles' 16th annual "Treasures of Los Angeles" luncheon, the club announced via news release on Wednesday.

Valenzuela will be joined at the luncheon -- held at the JW Marriott at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles -- by ex-Lakers great James Worthy and "other outstanding individuals and organizations of Los Angeles, which are also being honored for exceptional contributions in the areas of arts and entertainment, health care, higher education, sports and urban revitalization," the release stated.

"I'm very proud to share the stage with Laker legend James Worthy and all the recipients of this year's CCA Treasures award," Valenzuela said in a statement. "There isn't a city in the world that has had a bigger impact on me, and to be honored by Los Angeles, the town that made my dreams come true, is very humbling."

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Past Dodgers to receive the honor include Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda and former pitcher Don Newcombe, both of whom currently serve as special advisor to the chairman.

The annual "Treasures" event is "one of the city's largest gatherings of elected officials, business leaders and prominent Angelenos," the release stated. This year, L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti will serve as the luncheon's master of ceremonies.

Shortly after Valenzuela took the mound for the Dodgers for the first time in 1980, "Fernandomania" ensued at Dodger Stadium. While leading the Dodgers to a World Series championship during his first full season in 1981, the Mexican left-hander became the first player in Major League history to be named Rookie of the Year and win a Cy Young Award in the same season.

During his 17-year career -- 11 of which were spent with the Dodgers -- Valenzuela won 173 games, compiled a 3.54 ERA and made the National League All-Star team in each of his first six full seasons in the big leagues.

This year marks the 49-year-old's eighth as analyst for the Dodgers' Spanish-radio broadcasts.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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