his number 34 is one of the few numbers that was in use by a player on the 1977 and/or 1978 dodger team (lee lacy) that i do not associate with that player. for example, i still think of jerry grote as #9 rather than mickey hatcher (in his second dodger stint) and rick monday as #16 instead of andre ethier or will smith, but 34 is fernando.
here is the newest fernando card to enter my collection:
it's a 1987 hostess card/sticker that i had no idea existed until i stumbled on an ebay listing. it brought me to 247 (245 unique) fernando dodger cards, according to tcdb. that puts fernando at number 21 on my "top names" list and number 5 among all collectors, although i have a few more of his cards (non-dodger variety) in a couple of mini-collections that i haven't entered in to tcdb.
here's a card that shows his number a bit better, from 2002 topps archives reserve
a few years ago, i culled my player collections to just consist of steve garvey, vladimir guerrero, jimmie hall, and the post-dodger cards of the other starting 8 from the 1977 dodgers. shawn green, steve sax and fernando were the last to be cut, but i've since thought about reinstating fernando. in fact, i mentioned it in a post a while back, and even talked about it with fuji when he and i met up in san jose recently. well, this number retirement news has helped me make the decision to add fernando to my list of player collections.
unfortunately, i traded away many of his cards to oriole, phillie, padre, and cardinal collectors over the past few years so i don't have many in hand. i do have a few, including this 1995 upper deck electric diamond parallel
my want list is up, but i haven't finished going through all of my monster boxes of cards that may yield a few more from my past pc. still, i am looking for help! you will be rewarded!
fernando was inducted in to the "legends of dodger baseball" a few years ago, which seemed to me to be the franchise's way of recognizing a tier of player that wasn't going to get to cooperstown and therefore have their number retired. this announcement has me thinking that some other members of that group, such as maury wills
and steve garvey
and then there was manny mota, who seemed like someone who could follow the gilliam rule as a longtime dodger player and coach, but they were quick to redistribute his number 11 after he finally retired. i figured if they didn't do it for mota, they probably weren't going to do it for anyone else. i am glad i was wrong.