Fernando Nation is an ESPN 30 for 30 film. In 1981, a pudgy 19-year-old Mexican pitcher named Fernando Valenzuela took the MLB by storm, shattering baseball and America’s image of the ace.
30 for 30: Fernando Nation Documentary, Biography, History | 54min | Episode aired 26 October 2010 6.3
Director: Cruz AngelesWriters: Ryan M. LeeStars: Mike Brito, Stanley M. Brooks, Al CampanisSummary: The Natural is supposed to be a blue-eyed boy who teethed on a 36-ounce Louisville Slugger. He should run like the wind and throw boysenberries through brick. He should come from California. So how was it that a pudgy 19-year-old Mexican left-handed pitcher named Fernando Valenzuela from a remote village in the Sonoran desert, unable to speak a word of English, could sell out stadiums across America and become a rock star overnight? In Fernando Nation, Mexican-born and Los Angeles-raised director Cruz Angeles traces the history of a community that was torn apart when Dodger Stadium was built in Chavez Ravine and then revitalized by one of the most captivating pitching phenoms baseball has ever seen. Nicknamed "El Toro" by his fans, Fernando Valenzuela ignited a fire that spread from LA to New York -- and beyond. He vaulted himself onto the prime-time stage and proved with his signature look to the heavens and killer screwball that the American dream was not reserved for Americans.
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