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Fernando Valenzuela becomes a U.S. citizen

Courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers pitching legend Fernando Valenzuela became a United States citizen on Wednesday.

Valenzuela, who was born and raised in Navajoa, Mexico, was among 8,000 people to gain their citizenship at the Los Angeles convention center Wednesday, according to Immigration Services spokeswoman Claire Nicholson. He was joined by his wife, children and granddaughter.

Valenzuela ignited “Fernandomania,” becoming an instant sensation among Southern California’s Mexican and Latino community when he arrived from the minor leagues in the early 1980s. He won the 1981 Cy Young award. He works as a broadcaster on Dodgers' Spanish-language telecasts.