Fernando Valenzuela reported to the Los Angeles Dodgers' spring training camp at Vero Beach, Fla., late last night, officially ending one of the most celebrated holdouts in baseball history.
Valenzuela flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta and then to West Palm Beach, Fla., 60 miles from the Dodgers' camp. He was mobbed by more than 250 people at the West Palm Airport and was driven by a friend to Vero Beach.
He checked into the camp at 9:30 p.m. EST and went directly to his room, refusing to talk to more than 30 media representatives who had waited all day for his arrival.
He announced through a friend that he would hold a news conference this morning and would then work out for the first time this year with his teammates.
The 21-year-old left-hander from Mexico captured the hearts of baseball fans along with the Cy Young and rookie of the year awards in 1981--the first time anyone had won both awards in the same season.
Valenzuela and his agent demanded $850,000 from the Dodgers this year while the Dodgers were firm in their $350,000 offer. After a 22-day holdout, Valenzuela announced Monday he would report to camp but would not sign the contract.
The move was strictly symbolic, as Valenzuela will be paid the $350,000 the Dodgers offered. He said he would take his case to an arbitrator at the end of this season.